Editorial: Recruits hard to find and keep

The issue of recruiting volunteer firefighters is county-wide

Recruiting firefighters is an issue all across the country. Sooke is no exception and the local paper writing about fire hall expenses is not the reason.

Fire fighting in Canada, writes about the struggles all across Canada in recruiting volunteers to fill vacancies. The number of hours spent training volunteers is incredible. It is a big commitment and many cannot afford to take that much time (and money) away from their families. Many volunteers pay out of their own pocket to get specialized training. Family and relationship issues are a common reason for exiting the service.

Every fire department that relies on volunteer or paid on-call firefighters cites difficulty attracting and retaining members. Sooke is not unique. What makes it difficult in Sooke is the fact that most career-aged men and women may live in Sooke but they work in Victoria or the West Shore. They just aren’t around during the day to respond to any calls. This can also cause stress in the workplace.

Belt-tightening on the municipal level is definitely a factor. Most communities cannot afford career firefighters, even though this would be the preference. In many communities, these highly-trained volunteers are selected for career positions when they do become available. They are sought after and welcomed in any town/city they happen to live in.

Being a firefighter is much more than fighting fires. They are also first responders attending to vehicle accidents, rescues and fires.  They have big responsibilities, big time commitments and they are a crucial. We do value them.

Just Posted

Deep Cove man running 50 km every month through his 50th birthday year

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Local author wins gold medal for new book Fat Cats

Former parks warden’s series welcomes new addition to the canon

Oak Bay to host secondary suite open house on Thursday

Online secondary suite survey will run April 25 until May 10

Ancient microbes discovered off the Juan de Fuca Ridge potentially offers glimpse into alien life

The marine bacteria is dependent on hydrogen, a compound present almost everywhere

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read