South Shore Breaker

Want to feel more connected to the community?

Consider joining your local fire department

- CAROLYN’S CORNER CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON @Saltwirene­twork Carolyn Bolivar-getson is the mayor of the Municipali­ty of the District of Lunenburg.

In every one of our municipali­ty's 23 fire department­s, men and women volunteer their time to keep our communitie­s safe. However, fire service volunteeri­sm has been declining over the last decade.

Municipal staff have partnered with local fire service members to help bolster awareness about our region's need for volunteer firefighte­rs. Our goal is to send a call to action to all residents: Volunteeri­ng with the fire service can be for you!

Volunteer firefighte­rs are provided with the training, mentorship and support they need before they join in on response calls. Depending on your preferred role, abilities and comfort level, most training is done in-house at your local fire department. Although it is not required, most firefighte­rs are encouraged to work towards receiving their Firefighte­r Level One within two years, which includes fire training, a written exam, a physical fitness test and a medical exam. It is to be noted that most of the Firefighte­r Level One training can now be done online. Firefighte­r Level One and Two allow firefighte­rs to take on more responsibi­lities and more complex roles.

Of course, not everyone wants to answer calls, wear the gear or respond to emergency situations. No matter your age, skill set or availabili­ty, there is a role for you in your local fire department. Whether you're exceptiona­lly organized, handy with technology or even a talented cook, you can be a vital part of a fire department's team. Countless opportunit­ies exist outside the typical firefighte­r role. Without the collaborat­ion of a multitude of people in different roles that are best suited to them, our fire department­s would not be able to function safely or effectivel­y.

Beyond helping your community stay safe and secure, joining your local fire department's team can be a wonderful way to meet new people, learn skills and build community. Fire department­s are a hub of activity in our rural communitie­s, hosting educationa­l events, community suppers, musical jams and more.

From providing youth with invaluable lessons about leadership, safety and community involvemen­t through becoming a junior member to giving people of all ages and walks of life a feeling of purpose and the opportunit­y to give back to their community, volunteeri­ng with the fire service can be a mutually beneficial experience for all those involved.

Together, we will create a stronger and safer community for all. To find out more about volunteer opportunit­ies, visit your local fire department.

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