West Kelowna is looking to hire dozens of firefighters | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

West Kelowna is looking to hire dozens of firefighters

Image Credit: West Kelowna Fire Rescue

WEST KELOWNA - A recruiting drive to hire 10 career firefighters in West Kelowna is being combined with an effort to also bring in a couple of dozen paid-on-call members.

The on-call members are essentially volunteers who are called in for emergencies and paid while training or working.

“It’s a big ask in terms of training and commitment, but it can be very rewarding for the right type of person who wants to be involved in their community and wants to be a part of quite a team,” West Kelowna Fire Rescue Chief Jason Brolund told iNFOnews.ca.

The department has four fire halls in West Kelowna.

The Westbank fire hall is fully staffed with four members on at all times.

City council agreed to add eight more career firefighters this year so Lakeview Heights fire hall will be fully staffed as well.

Currently, there are positions for 32 firefighters but there are two vacancies so 10 more are needed to bring the force to 40.

The other two fire halls in Rose Valley and Glenrosa, are staffed by paid-on-call members.

Brolund would, ideally, have about 30 on-call firefighters assigned to each of those stations and is a couple dozen short.

He also risks losing some of his existing on-call staff as he expects some to apply for the career positions.

“One of the key things we can offer to our paid-on-call staff is, they receive all the training they need,” Brolund said. “They can come in with no training. They receive everything they need at no cost to themselves. We equip them with the best of turnout gear and safety equipment and give them all the training they need.”

That generally takes about six months of training a couple of evenings a week and on weekends.

Since the on-call firefighters are fully trained, they qualify for the full-time positions but face competition from all over the country from firefighters who may want to relocate to West Kelowna. Brolund, for example, recently took a call from someone in Yellowknife about the jobs.

An information session for the paid-on-call positions is scheduled for next Wednesday. Applications have to be submitted on line.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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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