The Selkirk Fire Department turns 125 years old this year, and it’s come a long way since it was established with a 12-15 man crew and a horse drawn chemical engine.
It’s now one of the province’s best on-call fire departments whose members are trained as firefighters and first responders.
Seeking qualified men and women
The Selkirk Department is currently looking for up to six new men and women to join its crew. Applications are being accepted until April 4.
Fire Chief Dave Milner says being a member of the Department is a rewarding experience but those who apply need to be prepared to put in their time.
“Being a Selkirk Firefighter is a commitment and it’s a position that requires dedication from the member and understanding from the member’s family, especially in the first couple of years when you’re taking your Fire Fighting Level 1 ,” Milner said.
“It can be kind of tough the first few years but after that it’s really good. You need strong family support to get through this. They have to understand you have to go to school, you’re still trying to answer fire calls and it can be very busy. We talk to new recruits before they start and tell them you need your family support. It’s huge.”
The Level 1 course is 200 hours and is taught in-house by Selkirk’s Training Officer Sean Lewis, who is a National Fire Protection (NFP) certified instructor. Exams are taken in Winnipeg and physical tests are done in Brandon.
Lewis has been with the Selkirk Fire Department for 22 years, and recently became the Training Officer. This group of new recruits will be the first he is teaching.
“I am excited to welcome the new recruits to our fire department. As the new safety and training officer I look forward to being a part of their journey to serving our great community as emergency personnel,” Lewis said.
Applicants to live in Selkirk, apply by April 4
The department is busy, often responding to more than 200 calls every year within the city and in neighbouring communities as part of the South Interlake Mutual Aid District. Calls include not only fires but motor vehicle accidents, residential alarms, ice and water rescue, confined space, high angle rope rescue to name a few.
Milner said training is ongoing and members can eventually tailor their careers to specific areas of interest, such as water rescue or public education.
Applicants must live in the City of Selkirk and it’s preferred they work here too. You must be able to get a Class 4 Licence with air brakes for Emergency Services Vehicles including the required medical exam. Additional requirements can be found on the application form.
Applications are available online at www.selkirkfire.org