Fort Erie fire department seeks new recruits

For his first full month on the job, Fort Erie’s new fire chief, Ed Melanson, got a relatively light load of calls.

The Fort Erie Fire Department released its monthly response stats last week, revealing a total of 80 emergency calls, the bulk of which were medical assistance calls (26), smoke alarm activations (14), and car accidents (10). There were also four water rescues, four grass fires, six burning complaints and two structure fires.

As the busy summer season looms – where water rescues and backyard campfires tend to drive up the response numbers – the department is also looking to flesh out its roster of firefighters.

In recent years, the FEFD has only managed to recruit just enough new volunteer firefighters to cover the gaps created by older firefighters retiring from the force. With an aging force, the FEFD is looking to bolster those numbers to stave off any potential staffing shortfalls.

Alongside providing a powerful way to give back to the community, being a volunteer firefighter has a number of benefits such as expert training, professional development and an annual honorarium. Volunteer firefighters may be called upon at any time – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – to respond to various types of emergency situations. In addition, they will be required to dedicate a specific number of hours per month to training, fire station duties and meetings. Successful candidates must also complete a recruit training program followed by a 12-month probationary period, during which time the candidate will undergo ongoing training and testing.

Certain requirements must be met before candidates can apply, including:

-have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent;

-be at least 18 years of age;

-live full-time in the Town of Fort Erie;

-be self-confident, reliable and understand the importance of teamwork and cooperation;

-have the ability to read, understand and apply technical procedures and guidelines;

-possess a valid, unrestricted Class “G” drivers’ license; and

-provide a satisfactory police background check and medical/physical evaluation

Additional information about the recruitment process, qualifications, an application form and instructions can be found at www.forterie.ca/pages/volunteerfirefighterapplication

The application deadline for new recruits is June 30.

Source:  NiagaraThisWeek.com – June 7th