The purpose of this letter is to incentivize members of the community to dedicate a small portion of their week to learning and assisting in protecting their community from disaster.
I don't speak for any volunteer fire department or have any direct affiliation with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, but based on my overwhelmingly positive experience with volunteering in a fire department, the benefits of joining a (volunteer) fire hall are vast. Training with your local fire department not only prepares you to assist in incident-related efforts in your community, but also gives you a firm base of fire knowledge regarding everyday life.
That is integral in weeding out different falsehoods and myths that are spread by the misinformed, which cause possible safety hazards.
A wide variety of courses are offered through volunteer fire departments, from emergency vehicle operation to structural fire attack. There is something that almost anyone, regardless of age or gender, can learn and use to help keep their area safe.
Joining a local fire department is a great way to get involved in your community and meet people with similar interests. The members of a fire department are like a second family, cultivating a safe space for anyone struggling with issues with both their personal and work lives, and acting as a pool of knowledge for problem-solving. I’ve lost count of the number of times someone put forward a request for help and it was met with the immediate and full support of the fire department.
The reality is that around 70% of the fire service in Canada is composed of volunteers, and most departments struggle to fill out spots with members.
If you take pride in your community and are looking for a way to get involved and make a difference, I urge you to consider joining your local fire Department.
Ty Seibel, Salmon Arm