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 July 22.
Fire Chief Steve Richardson said Tuesday the department currently has a complement of 20 volunteer firefighters, but is aiming to expand.
“We’re looking at having three more right now. This is to fall in line with the direction the town has given,” he noted, referring to the decision council made back in May to not fill a position left by recent retiree Hugh McKinnon and instead bolster the ranks with more volunteers.
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. “There is a time commitment there. You can be called during family events, on the holidays, anytime.”
Chief Richardson said the term “volunteer” is a little misleading. While they do not work scheduled shifts, volunteer firefighters do receive an hourly wage while training or when they go out on calls.
All applicants must undergo a thorough process, including an More from A1
interview, a written aptitude test, a physical agility test, and a police background check, the chief noted.
He added volunteers who make it through the interview and testing also can expect between 100 and 120 hours of training ahead of them before they even get their pagers.
The volunteers also train along with the full-timers on a regular basis, and can undergo further training during exercises at various times throughout the year.
The town is an equal opportunity employer, said Chief Richardson, noting there currently are a couple of women on the Fort Frances Fire Brigade.
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 at the information desk at the Civic Centre, or on-line at
Applications, contained in a sealed envelope clearly marked “Competition: Volunteer Firefighters,” must be dropped off at the Civic Centre no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, July 22.
They also can be faxed to 274-8479, e-mailed to, or sent via regular mail to Human Resource Manager, Town of Fort Frances, 320 Portage Ave., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3P9.