Marystown Fire Chief makes appeal for new members
Work commitments outside of the province a drain on volunteer firefighter numbers
Fire Chief Alex Coady of the Marystown Volunteer Fire Department said the department is hoping to attract more members that permanently reside within town limits.
“It is no disrespect to the people that work turn around, they’ve got to make a living for them (and their) families… that comes first and foremost,” said Coady, “but we’re trying to work our way away from that and try to get people that are working local.”
Coady said it makes it difficult for the department when members are only available for so many days out of the month.
During a recent council meeting it was announced that the department was down by five members, and although Coady said that is the fact, he told The Southern Gazette that numbers are not at a critical level.
“We’re well above average for response,” he said. “We’re still maintaining about 16-20 members responding to any calls.”
In the past, the department has been able to maintain a full complement of 30 members, Coady said the hope is once employment opportunities pick up in the town it will aid in their recruitment efforts.
“Some of our members (that) are gone away will probably be home,” he said.
He explained that the department also had two members retire.
“Two of them had their 20 years of service in and they just felt it was time for some younger people to get involved and they stepped aside,” Coady said. “We’re not losing people just because they’re saying, ‘I’ve had enough of it’. Our loss in membership is work (commitments), 90 per cent of it.”
Member of the Marystown Volunteer Fire Department were presented with awards for service during the annual Firefighters Ball held Saturday, Oct.13. Pictured, from left, Fire Chief Alex Coady, Walter Vallis (five years), Justin Green (five years), Leo Green (10 years), Kenneth Rideout (10 years), Captain Wayde Clarke (25 years), MHA Mark Browne and Assistant Chief George Shave.