SOUTH DUNDAS – Have you ever thought of being a firefighter? If you have, South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services Chief Cameron Morehouse wants to hear from you.
The SDFES is running its first ever Firefighter for a Day event August 21 at Matilda Hall. The day-long event is for potential firefighter recruits, or even those curious as to what is involved with being a paid-on-call firefighter in South Dundas. The fire service is trying this event to get new people to join the department as recruitment is down across all three SDFES stations.
“We are starting to get concerned about recruitment as applications are down,” Morehouse told The Leader.
There is a small waiting list for firefighters to join the Morrisburg station, but the department needs more recruits at its Iroquois and Williamsburg stations.
Morehouse explained that the fire service isn’t a volunteer job and that the term “volunteer firefighter” is a misnomer.
“We’re taking the word ‘volunteer’ out and are using paid-on-call because this is a job,” he said. “You are paid for your time at calls, for training, you are compensated.”
Firefighters taking part in the August 21 event will get to try on equipment, use different equipment and see what it is like to be a paid-on-call firefighter. Lunch is also provided.
The fire service currently has two female members, which Morehouse said the service is actively trying to increase.
“We’re encouraging women to please come out. This is not just for men and this is the ideal time to come out and try this out,” he said.
And if you think that joining the fire service is not for you, Morehouse would like you to think again.
“Everyone that joins us brings a unique set of assets,” he said, explaining that some firefighters may not ever want to go to a medical call, but are great at dealing with structure fire incidents.
“We’re not looking for experts. We’re looking for everyday neighbours to come out and be extrodinary in this group and help your community.”
Registration for the Firefighter for a Day event is available through the South Dundas webiste. Or you can contact the SDFES by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 613-543-2673.