Invermere fire department seeks new volunteer firefighters

Local men and women interested in adventure and fitness are asked to get involved.

If crawling through confined spaces or lifting heavy equipment sounds like a fun way to spend your spare time, volunteering for the Invermere Fire Rescue could be right up your alley.

Every Tuesday night, a weekly training session at the Invermere Fire Hall takes place and adventurous types keen to serve their community and volunteer as a firefighter are asked to drop by the hall between 7 to 9 p.m. to get involved.

“They can come in any Tuesday night and sign up and they can participate and watch so they can actually see how things are done and they get to work at it also before they do their exam,” said Invermere fire chief Roger Ekman.

The physical exam is comprised of several elements including a dummy pull, a hose pull, and a confined space challenge whereby an applicant outfitted in full turnout fear and a breathing apparatus has to climb through a two by two foot tunnel 16 feet long without panicking.

The hose pull consists of lifting a 60 pound roll of 2.5 inch hose hand over hand from the top of the hall to the ground three times. For the dummy pull, applicants will be shown how to lift a real person properly and pull them about 50 feet.

Time isn’t something they’re too concerned about, Ekman said.

“We do time it but we don’t use the time as a factor,” he said, “because, being that they’re all volunteers, they’re not Charles Atlas so it’s something that they can work up to.”

The training happens every Tuesday night, and every fifth Sunday, and is ongoing. It usually takes new recruits eight to 12 months before they complete their initial training and are issued a radio, making them available for calls.

The timeframe depends on an individual’s progress and performance, said Ekman.

“We don’t stamp our foot down because we know that not everybody is the same, everybody works at a different pace,” he said. “They are volunteers, they’re not career so you can only expect what you can get out of the person.”

No experience is necessary and applicants can be men or women, but must be 19 years or older with a medical clearance form from their doctor before they do the physical.

For more information, call Ekman at 250-342-3200 or email invermerefire@cyberlink.bc.ca.

 

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