Deputy chief Mike Harman and firefighter Steven Bibb show off some of the equipment at the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department. It is currently recruiting volunteers for 2020 (Wolf Depner/News Staff).

Sidney Volunteer Fire Department heats up recruitment drive

Over the years, the department has served as a stepping ground toward paid positions

Wanted: a positive attitude, a desire for camaraderie and a sense of community service.

Those are the personal characteristics for which the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department looks as it continues to recruit volunteers for 2020.

Mike Harman, deputy chief with the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department, said the department has so received half a dozen applications with the application window extended until January.

Harman said the recruitment drive does not have to meet a specific figure. “It honestly depends on how many we get,” he said. “We are always looking between four and six.”

While the department has received between six to eight applications in years past, Harman said the current interest level appears on par with the average.

RELATED: Fire official describes Sidney fire as ‘accidental’

RELATED: Saanich Peninsula rallies around Sidney family with young daughter after fire

Over the years, a number of small departments have raised concerns about recruitment levels, but Harman says it has not necessarily become more difficult to recruit volunteers.

“Once we put the word out there, we start to get the interest,” he said. “We always got people popping in, asking if and when we are going to take applications.”

Would-be volunteers must be 19 years old, live within the Town of Sidney or the catchment, a radius of five kilometres centered on Sidney’s Community Safety Building, and the time and ability to commit to the training,

“We will provide all the training in house and get them certified,” said Harman. “We just need people, who can commit to the minimum training requirement, which is a good three days a week. “

Harman said it takes about 15 months to meet the minimum certification requirement recognized across North America.

Before moving on to the training, would be volunteers go through an interview process and a physical fitness test, said Harman.

Over the years, applicants who became volunteers have moved on to paid positions elsewhere in the region and British Columbia, said Harman, something the department welcomes.

“We are actually seeing this as success, because they have come here, they have been educated, and now they have been able to actually move on to a career positions elsewhere,” he said.

Before that though, they will be joining a department of 35 (with seven of them paid as staff during regular working hours) with a strong sense of family, community and professionalism.

“We treat everybody like a paid professional,” said Harman. “Everybody is on the same playing field. We don’t have a divide in our department between paid and volunteer guys. At the end of the day, it’s one family, one job, one responsibility, which is to provide fire and emergency services to the residents in the Town of Sidney.”


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria’s Raging Grannies to demonstrate against public funding of for-profit senior homes

Group says COVID-19 has revealed ‘sad state of extended care’ in B.C.

Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

Changing provincial regulations could clear the way for Sidney’s first ever pot shop

New ECG will diagnose life-threatening emergencies in ‘timely manner’ in Sooke

Machine funded by the Sooke and Juan de Fuca Health Foundation

Woman who talked to unconscious husband, a Victoria police officer, for 30 years focus of study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

Langford residents concerns rise over proposal for two 11-storey buildings

Group calls for more green space, independent traffic feasiblity study

VIDEO: Dashcam footage shows Victoria police-involved crash

Video shows VicPD officer strike another vehicle at intersection

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Most Read