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Fire department steps up recruitment effort with open house

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The Dauphin Fire Department (DFD) is looking for a few good men and women.
DFD Chief Cam Abrey announced the local department is hosting an open house for potential recruits, Feb. 21.
“It’s something that we typically just go by word of mouth,” Abrey said.
“So if you know any friends, neighbours, family, anything like that, that would be a good blend for the fire department, tell them to come on out.”
Word of mouth is how DFD has operated for over 100 years, he said, adding the department has also had recruitment drives in the past.
The open house is on a regular training night, Abrey explained, which means potential recruits will have an opportunity to talk to current members and to have a look at equipment and training props.
“So they can try on a set of turnout gear with an SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus). Put on the mask and find out right away if they have any kind of phobia or anything that would hinder them from wearing the equipment that we wear on a normal basis,” he said.
The maximum membership of the DFD is 36 frontline firefighters, Abrey said, and it is currently at 31.
A few members recently left the department, he noted, with three firefighters taking fire-related jobs.
While joining DFD offers potential to further a career, Abrey said, it leaves the department with fewer members.
“As we are entering our summer, we need to strengthen our numbers and strengthen the department,” he added.
Training is provided locally, Abrey said, pointing out it is the same training firefighters would take at colleges in Brandon or Alberta.
“The only difference is, we pay you while you are taking your training and it may take a couple of years to obtain Firefighter Level 1 and proceed to Level 2,” he added.
To apply, recruits must be a minimum of 18 years old and have a valid class 5 driver’s license.
Once a recruit is selected, Abrey said, they will be asked to apply for a Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector check, plus submit a drivers abstract.
“We are working with people at vulnerable moments, so we want to ensure that we have the right blend of people,” he said, adding the records do not have to be free and clear.
“But it opens up the conversation for us to have with the individuals about it.”
DFD wants to know it has community-minded individuals Abrey said, that would be a good addition to the department.
The open house begins at 7 p.m. at 121 Second Street.
For more information, contact Abrey at 204-622-3100.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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