Kamloops Fire Rescue on recruitment drive to help replace retirees | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops Fire Rescue on recruitment drive to help replace retirees


Kamloops Fire Rescue is looking for more firefighters as it prepares to take on four new recruits this month.

The four new hires were the last of a dozen new hires joining the fire brigade in the last year, leaving its reserve of potential recruits dwindled.

Those 12 new recruits all replaced retired firefighters in the last 12 months, Scott Johnson of Kamloops Fire Rescue told iNFOnews.ca. It's not just firefighters that are retiring but also the department's leadership, with two fire chiefs retiring in less than two years.

The department is now launching a recruitment drive as it prepares for future retirements in the coming years.

"Competition for firefighting employment in B.C. is fierce," Scott Johnson of Kamloops Fire Rescue said in a news release.

Last time the fire department launched a recruitment drive, 300 people applied.

The four new firefighters are set to start on July 12, and the department is launching its recruitment drive three days later.

"I have nobody to draw from," Johnson said, explaining that the department's 12 new hires were all sourced from a list of applicants waiting to come to Kamloops.

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Johnson said Kamloops has historically been a sought after department for firefighters because it's been more affordable than other larger markets, but he anticipates that to change this year because of rising real estate prices and cost of living.

He added that the fire department is not expanding, and the last time it had was about a decade ago when Kamloops built its seventh fire hall in Aberdeen.

Johnson said the department keeps about 110 firefighters on staff. Most of them have been firefighters for 10 years or more.

While other industries are struggling to find enough employees, Johnson believes there are plenty of trained firefighters looking for work.

Because Kamloops has been a sought after place, firefighters often retire here rather than move on to other cities, Johnson said.

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Among its recent retirees, two fire chiefs left the department in less than two years.

Former chief Mike Adams retired in December 2020 and Steve Robinson took the job for less than 15 months before his retirement in April.

The Kamloops fire department will continue its hiring drive from July 15 to 29. More information is available on the City of Kamloops website here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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