If you take the heat...

The Glengarry News - - SALUTE TO OUR LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS -

Can you take the heat? The an­swer to that and many other ques­tions help you de­cide if you have what it takes to be­come a fire­fighter.

The North Glen­garry Fire De­part­ment has set Oc­to­ber 19 to sub­mit ap­pli­ca­tions to be­come vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers. A suc­cess­ful fire­figther must pos­sess: - An out­stand­ing work ethic - Courage - Pride in one­self and the fire ser­vice - In­tegrity - The abil­ity to work well as a mem­ber of a team - Com­pas­sion - A will­ing­ness to learn new skills - Assertive­ness - Good moral char­ac­ter The re­cruit­ment pack­age notes that par­tic­i­pa­tion as a mem­ber of the de­part­ment will bring per­sonal re­wards, sat­is­fac­tion, raise self-es­teem and give you a tremen­dous sense of ac­com­plish­ment for a job well done. Your in­volve­ment will also pro­vide your com­mu­nity with a valu­able ser­vice that has the po­ten­tial to touch us all.

How­ever, ser­vice as a mem­ber of the de­part­ment re­quires a se­ri­ous com­mit­ment. Your de­ci­sion to join should not be made quickly or lightly and should be dis­cussed with your fam­ily mem­bers.

Often, can­di­dates un­der­es­ti­mate the amount of time and ef­fort re­quired to be a suc­cess­ful fire­fighter.

Keep it clean

For rea­sons of safety, fa­cial hair (i.e. beards, bushy mous­taches, and long side­burns) that may af­fect the in­tegrity of the face piece seal of self-con­tained breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus, is not per­mit­ted

Min­i­mum re­quire­ments

Must have a min­i­mum of a Sec­ondary School ed­u­ca­tion. Must be at least 18 years old. Must sub­mit the re­sults of a cur­rent Vul­ner­a­ble Sec­tor po­lice records check prior to com­mence­ment of em­ploy­ment.

Must be able to at­tend re­cruit train­ing pro­gram and reg­u­larly sched­uled train­ing.

Must have a valid On­tario driver’s per­mit and a re­li­able means of trans­porta­tion to re­spond to calls. Proof of valid On­tario driver’s li­cence (min­i­mum G class). MTO driver’s abstract must be pro­vided prior to com­mence­ment of em­ploy­ment.

Med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion re­port, com­pleted and signed by the ap­pli­cant’s doc­tor must be pro­vided, prior to com­mence­ment of em­ploy­ment. Proof of res­i­dency or work within North Glen­garry Town­ship Must be legally en­ti­tled to work in Canada. The North Glen­garry Fire Ser­vice is a ru­ral op­er­a­tion, led by a chief and deputy chief. It is com­prised of sta­tions in Alexan­dria, Ap­ple Hill, and Maxville. Each sta­tion has a district chief and deputy district chief with ap­prox­i­mately 20 vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers.

The goal of the fire de­part­ment is to pro­vide fire pro­tec­tion ser­vices through a range of pro­grams de­signed to pro­tect the lives and prop­erty of the in­hab­i­tants from the ad­verse ef­fects of fires, sud­den med­i­cal emer­gen­cies, or ex­po­sure to dan­ger­ous con­di­tions cre­ated by hu­mans or na­ture.

The de­part­ment serves North Glen­garry, as well as other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties re­quir­ing as­sis­tance through au­tho­rized emer­gency fire ser­vice plan and pro­gram (mu­tual aid) ac­tiv­i­ties and au­to­matic aid agree­ments.

Un­der “The na­ture of our busi­ness,” the de­part­ment notes that “fire­fight­ing is one of the most di­verse and chal­leng­ing pro­fes­sions known to­day. It is this di­ver­sity that in­spires most in­di­vid­u­als to en­ter the ser­vice, both as vol­un­teers and ca­reer fire­fight­ers.”

Imag­ine hav­ing to train to pre­pare your­self to cope with sit­u­a­tions which range from struc­ture fires, ve­hi­cle col­li­sions, haz­ardous chem­i­cal spills, heart at­tacks and al­most any imag­in­able emer­gency sit­u­a­tion in be­tween.

This di­ver­sity and the fact that your skills may be needed at any time of day, seven days a week, in any kind of weather, and very often un­der po­ten­tially stress­ful and emo­tional cir­cum­stances, make your con­tri­bu­tion very per­son­ally re­ward­ing.

The fire ser­vice has two ba­sic goals: To pre­vent fires or emer­gen­cies from oc­cur­ring through in­spec­tions, ed­u­ca­tion, and code en­force­ment, and to pre­pare mem­bers to con­trol fires and emer­gen­cies should pre­ven­tion not pre­vail, through ed­u­ca­tion, pre-in­ci­dent plan­ning, and ex­ten­sive train­ing with state-of-the-art equip­ment.

This type of work is not for ev­ery­one. You need more than just a de­sire to help peo­ple. You also need courage and ded­i­ca­tion, com­pas­sion, assertive­ness, and a will­ing­ness to learn new skills and face new chal­lenges.

Hot, sweaty

“The Fire De­part­ment is not for the meek or timid or for those who lose con­trol of their emo­tions dur­ing times of cri­sis. Our ser­vice is one which calls on its mem­bers to per­form hot, sweaty, dirty, stren­u­ous work, often in un­cer­tain and haz­ardous en­vi­ron­ments,” the de­part­ment stresses.

“The per­sonal re­wards and sat­is­fac­tion re­ceived from be­ing in­volved in a vol­un­teer fire de­part­ment are often be­yond de­scrip­tion. There is a sense of ac­com­plish­ment af­ter con­trol­ling a build­ing fire, com­pas­sion for ac­ci­dent vic­tims, and ful­fill­ment in teach­ing fire safety. The list could go on and on.”

“Suc­cess in our busi­ness is mea­sured by the pre­ven­tion and re­duc­tion of loss of life, pain, suf­fer­ing, and prop­erty dam­age in our town­ship.”

Over the years, the fire ser­vice has evolved into a pub­lic safety agency pro­vid­ing highly tech­ni­cal and di­verse ser­vices. The gen­eral pub­lic has come to rely on the Fire De­part­ment as the “first re­spon­der” not only when life and prop­erty are threat­ened by hu­man or nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, but for seem­ingly smaller prob­lems as well.

The South Glen­garry Fire De­part­ment cri­te­ria gives an in­di­ca­tion of the phys­i­cal re­quire­ments.

Dur­ing the se­lec­tion process for vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers, can­di­dates must pass a phys­i­cal agility test. Dur­ing this test, sev­eral dif­fer­ent tasks will be at­tempted. These tasks in­clude: A lad­der climb to a height of 24 feet. Us­ing a self-con­tained breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus with a du­ra­tion of ap­prox­i­mately 15 min­utes. A three-quar­ter kilo­me­tre run.

A two-per­son lad­der lift us­ing a 24-foot lad­der. A hose drag a dis­tance of 150 feet. An agility course.

Can­di­dates shall pass the six tasks as set out in the phys­i­cal agility test in order to ad­vance to the in­ter­view.

NORTH GLEN­GARRY FIRE SER­VICES PHOTO

TEST­ING: Mem­bers of the North Glen­garry Fire De­part­ment are con­stantly hon­ing and test­ing their skills. For ex­am­ple, dur­ing a re­cent session they were bat­tling a sim­u­lated propane blaze.

FILE PHOTO

CHAL­LENGE: Area fire­fight­ers go head to head an­nu­ally in a friendly chal­lenge that puts them through their paces, and en­ter­tains au­di­ences.

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