Fire service accepting applications

Sam Odrowski

The Chapple, Emo, La Vallee & Alberton Fire & Emergency Service is running its annual recruitment drive up until this Sunday (Sept. 30).
The service currently is looking to fill five vacant positions in Alberton, two in Chapple, two in Emo, and two in La Vallee.
Chief Josh Colling encourages anyone in these communities with an interest to submit an application.
“If they’re having any questions, talk to a local firefighter or give us a call,” he remarked.
“Just apply and take that first step,” he added. “It’s an excellent way to help out the community as a team.”
Those selected do not need any previous fire training, and will receive all the certifications and qualifications required by firefighters after joining the force.
“You’re getting the same requirements that are required as professional qualifications for full-time firefighting,” Chief Colling noted.
“And you also get other certifications, first-aid, DFZ, chainsaw certification, so there is a lot involved and it is all covered, so it’s a bit of résumé builder,” he added.
The skills built while volunteer firefighting also can lead to greater opportunities in the field if those on the force choose to move further in a fire emergency services career.
While Chief Colling finds firefighting to be very rewarding, he does warn newcomers that getting trained takes time and dedication.
“Before they jump in, they should know the first two years are the heaviest, there’s no question,” he admitted.
In the beginning, new firefighters are required to do two four-hour practices twice a month for two years, in addition to four 10-hour training weekends.
Afterwards, firefighters go into the regular training stream, which involves one 10-hour weekend a year and two three-and-a-half-hour practices a month.
“That’s the minimum standard competencies that has to be met,” Chief Colling explained. “And after that, we build on all the specialties that are ongoing and then it’s toned down.”
He said the key for being a successful applicant is being community-driven and eager to learn.
“We’ll do the rest,” Chief Colling noted. “We’ll train people, we’ll get them there.
“They just need to be community driven because that’s the focus of the organization.”
It is also important for applicants to note the most important part in fire safety is prevention and education.
“That’s our focus and that’s how most our time is spent,” Chief Colling said. “However, we do train rigorously to make sure we’re ready in case one [prevention] and two [education] fail.”
Anyone looking for more information can contact Chief Colling at 271-4230 or via e-mail at joshua19colling@gmail.com.
You also can message the Chapple, Emo, La Vallee & Alberton Fire & Emergency Service page on Facebook.