The Gravenhurst Fire Department is holding their annual recruiting drive, looking for eight to 10 new firefighters that have a desire to give back to the community.
The department’s recruitment guide includes the job description and physical requirements along with other information like details about training and the department’s diversity statement. Fire Chief Larry Brassard said the department believes a diverse organization is a strong organization and welcomes all types of people who have a desire to serve the community. He also said that more than 20 per cent of the department is now made up of women and the department’s longest serving volunteer is a woman.
“When people are asked to describe a firefighter, they use traditional words like large, muscular, strong and brave,” Brassard said. “And while most of these attributes are still applicable, today we also use words like thoughtful, caring, giving and empathetic to describe the ideal firefighter we want serving in Gravenhurst. Long gone is the vestige that firefighting is a male-only undertaking. Our community, our society and our mission has changed and so too has the composition of our organization.”
Brassard said that council provides the department with the best protective clothing and equipment to do their jobs and he wants the community to know upfront that the entry, training and operational demands to be a firefighter are difficult but rewarding.
“The town offers good wages, benefits such as supplemental insurance coverage, all protective clothing and uniforms, but serving as a volunteer firefighter goes far beyond these material things,” he said. “The self-satisfaction that comes from working together with a strong team to achieve remarkable things under difficult circumstances is something that you can’t put a price tag on, nor is the friendships that are made or the feelings of helping a stranger in their darkest hour.”
The department responds to roughly 250 emergencies of all types each year from car crashes and fires to hazardous chemical spills and water/ice rescue situations. Recruit firefighters must do about six months of intensive training to obtain their basic qualifications and will then continue to train throughout their careers.
“Our firefighters understand that accepting the uniform means their lives literally change,” Brassard said. “When someone answers the call and completes an application, they begin a journey that’s full of challenges and full of rewards. Are you that person?”
Interested in becoming a firefighter with the Gravenhurst Fire Department? Find the recruitment guide and submit an application on the town’s website.