Town calls for more volunteer firefighters

The Town of Fort Frances is on the lookout for more volunteer firefighters, with a deadline for applications coming up Feb. 18.
“In the past two or three years, this has become an annual thing,” Fire Chief Steve Richardson noted Monday.
“We like to keep a complement of 20 volunteer firefighters. Right now, we’re looking for five,” he added.
Chief Richardson noted the job is much like being a full-time firefighter in that volunteers respond to all reported fires, as well as most emergency response calls and rescue efforts.
“A volunteer can be called to any situation,” he stressed.
The volunteers also train along with the full-timers twice a month, and can undergo further training during exercises at various times throughout the year.
Chief Richardson noted volunteers that make it through the application and interview process can expect around 40 hours of training before they even get their pagers.
“There is a time commitment there,” he warned.
Chief Richardson also said the term “volunteer” is a little misleading. While they do not work scheduled shifts, volunteer firefighters do receive remuneration when they go out on calls.
And, for the most part, they are responsible for the same on-the-job duties as their counterparts.
All applicants must undergo a medical exam, take a police background check, write an aptitude test, and undergo an interview process, added Chief Richardson.
He said individuals tend to stay on as volunteer firefighters for an average of five years, though some do it for 10 or even 15 years.
A complete job description and application forms are available from the Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service or at the information desk at the Civic Centre.
Applications, contained in a sealed envelope clearly marked “Volunteer Application,” must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18.
They also can be faxed to 274-9595, or sent via regular mail to Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service, Attn: Fire Chief, 320 Portage Ave., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3P9.
The town is an equal opportunity employer.