The Osoyoos Fire Department is looking for a few new recruits.

The department is advertising for qualified team members to join its ranks, asking those interested if firefighting is in their future.

The responsibility comes with significant commitment. Members are dispatched by pager to emergencies and are expected to respond to the fire hall when paged. Members also practice for two hours every Wednesday evening.

Nevertheless, the department says, the service is well worth the effort.

“Being a volunteer firefighter is a great way to be involved in the community, learn firefighting, first aid and emergency skills, keep physically fit and to enjoy the camaraderie of being actively involved in the Osoyoos Fire Department.”

Members are paid for each call-out and for attending Wednesday-evening practices.

“There are many reasons to consider joining the (fire department), the OFD invitation says. “For starters, it’s a great way of contributing to your local community. You can learn new skills, from firefighting and first aid to communications and technical rescue. Plus, you’ll make new friends that you’re likely to have for the rest of your life.”

Any community member 19 or older can become a firefighter, although the department notes “firefighting can be strenuous and requires good physical fitness.”

“Members need to be able to raise ground ladders, hoist equipment, climb stair wells, drag water filled hose lines, operate equipment and perform a number of other tasks, all while under the stress of an emergency situation and wearing up to 60 lbs (27 Kgs) of personal protective equipment.”

To start the application process, download an application form. You can also pick one up at the Town Hall (8707 Main Street).

You’ll also need to arrange for a criminal record check through the local RCMP and provide a copy of your driver’s abstract.

“Once you’ve filled out and submitted an application form along with a criminal record check and a driver’s abstract, you’ll be invited to a quick interview. Once those checks are complete, you’ll get a letter telling you if you’ve been successful. If you are, you’re accepted as a probationary member for six months.”

Interested? Stop by the fire hall Wednesday evening and talk to members of the department to learn more. Or send an email for more information.

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