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West Kootenay fire halls host first ever recruitment open houses

Open houses will be held at fire stations in Rossland, Warfield, Genelle, Montrose and Fruitvale
Recruits undergo training at Station 371 in Rossland. Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire and Rescue is inviting new recruits to an open house at its respective fire halls over the coming months. Photo: Submitted

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue Service is hosting a series of open houses to attract future firefighters.

For the first time ever, the service will be hosting these unique recruitment events at fire stations in Rossland, Warfield, Genelle, Montrose and Fruitvale.

“These events will give residents the opportunity to meet local firefighters, and gain insight into the regional fire department, enjoy some food and receive a fire truck tour and equipment display,” said Fire Chief Dan Derby. “It’s a great way for potential firefighters to ask questions of the existing crew to understand the commitment it takes to become a firefighter and to familiarize themselves with their local fire station.”

Community minded people over the age of 19 and from all walks of life are encouraged to pop in during the open houses to see what the job, training, and application process is all about. Registration is not required.

“Don’t ever think you’re not strong, fit or qualified enough to apply,” said Deputy Fire Chief Glen Gallamore. “All you need is a positive attitude, commitment to training, be in good health and have the drive to get involved. We will equip you with all the skills you need to be effective in the role.”

The service says, “Even if you don’t view firefighting as a potential career, paid-on-call recruits join the department for a variety of reasons. The work is rewarding as well as the training, camaraderie, and sense of community purpose which come with the role.”

These paid-on-call recruits come from stations across the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire and Rescue, from Fruitvale to Rossland. Photo: Submitted
These paid-on-call recruits come from stations across the Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire and Rescue, from Fruitvale to Rossland. Photo: Submitted

Members juggle family, full-time jobs, and shift work with weekly night training sessions going from 7 9 p.m. at their nearest fire hall, with some specialized training off-site and on weekends.

Training days take place on Mondays in Montrose, Tuesdays in Warfield and Genelle, Wednesdays in Fruitvale, and Thursdays in Rossland.

Derby says a new, uncertified recruit typically goes through 12 to 36 months of on-the-job training, which formally begins in September.

“We’ve worked hard to build a training program that will provide all the skills someone will need to achieve accredited firefighter certification,” he said.

During training, recruits are taught how to safely and effectively function on fire ground and at motor vehicle incidents and medical aid calls. No previous experience is necessary.

Training is comprised of: Medical First Responder and CPR; Emergency Scene Traffic Control; Electrical Safety Awareness; Gas Safety Awareness; NFPA Firefighter Level II; Incident Command; Wildland Firefighter; and Driver Training and Air Brakes.

Looking to beef up its paid-on-call roster, the service will be accepting applications to June 15.

The first recruitment open house — for Trail and Warfield residents — will be held at the Warfield fire station from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 23.

The next one will go at the Genelle Station on Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; at Station 375 in Montrose Saturday, May 13 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.; in Fruitvale at Station 376 on Wednesday, May 24 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and in Rossland at Station 371 on Thursday, May 25 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Applications for each station are via the fire department headquarters in Trail. To find out more about what the role and application involves email, phone 250.364.1737, and visit:

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