Malaspina Fire Hall acquired a new fire truck in March of this year, and fire chief Dave Keiver wants to hear from anyone who has ever dreamed about working on one.
“The Malaspina Volunteer Fire Department is looking for some new volunteer firefighters,” said Keiver. “We start training again in September and we’d love to have at least six people join our team.”
Being a volunteer firefighter is a rewarding opportunity for people who care about their community and are energetic, quick thinking and willing to learn, according to Keiver. Volunteers are asked to attend practice on Thursday evenings for two hours and take part in occasional special and weekend training. Practices include training in all aspects of fire operations, medical aid and rescues.
“Our in-house training programs are designed by the Office of the Fire Commissioner and the British Columbia Ambulance Service,” said Keiver. “We start training with exterior fire operations as well as first responder medical aid, and volunteers receive all training free of charge.”
Volunteer firefighters who pass their training receive hourly compensation when they are called out to emergencies. Other benefits of volunteering include access to a medical and dental plan for volunteers and their families after passing probation, and university credits for some training courses.
“This role is also very rewarding,” said Keiver. “Many of our volunteers say that helping people in our community is one of the best things about being a firefighter, and it also gives people a sense of challenge and accomplishment.”
Malaspina Volunteer Fire Department provides emergency services for about 48 square kilometres of land, about 20 kilometres of Highway 101, and more than 3,000 residents south of Powell River between the municipal limits and Seaside Way. The department has two fire stations: a main hall on Highway 101 and Ramsay Road, and an auxiliary hall near Valley Building Supplies off Padgett Road.
In 2018, its members responded to 212 calls, including medical, fire and motor vehicle incidents. Medical incidents accounted for more than 60 per cent of calls, with fire incidents making up most of the remainder.
“It’s hard work and a commitment, but we all support each other and work together,” said Keiver. “Being part of the fire department is like gaining an extended family.”
Volunteers must have a valid British Columbia driver’s licence, be age 19 or over (there is no upper age limit), be in good health, and must complete a criminal record check and driver’s abstract. While preference will be given to people who live in the Malaspina Volunteer Fire Department service area, people who live in Powell River near the city’s southern border are also encouraged to apply.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering or has questions can contact Keiver at 604.487.9911 (office) or 604.483.1612 (cell), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.