There are no special physical requirements for firefighting volunteers, other than that they must be in good health, with no medical conditions that might impede their ability to carry out firefighting duties, and they must be beardless, as a beard would interfere with the use of breathing apparatus.
All applicants to the Fire Department must go through a probationary period, during which they learn the basic operation of equipment. At the end of the probationary period, applicants must pass a test before being accepted as full-fledged volunteers.
Weekly training happens Thursday evenings at 630pm, Members are then encouraged (though not required) to attend a training program run by the Fire Academy of the Justice Institute, held in Nanaimo or Maple Ridge. A variety of advanced courses can be taken, including:
Auto extrication levels 1, 2, and 3
Driver training instruction
Fighting bush fires
Live fire levels 1, 2, and 3
Courses are offered in neighbouring communities when possible. Advanced training helps build confidence as well as skills and provides excellent opportunities for our firefighters to meet volunteers from other departments.
First responders upgrade their CPR training (a weekend course) annually, and their first responder skills, initially a 40-hour course, then upgraded in every three years. Since some of our members are certified CPR and first responder instructors, this training can sometimes be done in the Highlands.
What You Can Do
We believe that many simple safeguards can keep the chances of us visiting your home unscheduled to a minimum. You can better protect yourself and your family by using some of the helpful tips and hints that we have posted here.
Attend one of the public participation practice sessions.
Volunteer with us! We can't do this without you. A couple hours each week is the best way you can learn how to protect your family, your property, and your neighbourhood. The department urgently needs more volunteers for both daytime and evening. The present contingent is well below 30 volunteers (the optimum is 35), and the daytime crew is so low in personnel that response time could be delayed because responders from other jurisdictions may have to be called in.