If you take the heat...
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
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.
“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.
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.
CHALLENGE: Area firefighters go head to head annually in a friendly challenge that puts them through their paces, and entertains audiences.