“We can spend all the money we want on equipment but it doesn’t count for much if we don’t have volunteers,” said Dave Boreen, Elk Valley and South Country Fire Services Chief.
If the over 60 people who filled the seats at the Elko Community Hall on Wednesday evening was any indication of potential recruitment, Boreen is hopeful that the community will step up to fill the slots at the department.
“You can be of any age, of any capability and I can guarantee that there will be a job for you,” assured Boreen.
Presentations from active volunteers, BC Ambulance, the Wildfire Management Branch, Electoral Area B Director Stan Doehle and The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) supplemented the evening in the hopes of appealing to community members and encouraging them to enroll for a volunteer position.
“Many people think being a member of a department is just about fighting fires; however, there are so many other opportunities for volunteers, from medical first responder to organizing equipment and even helping with paperwork. If you are interested in giving back to your community and being part of a team, there is a role for you as a volunteer in our departments,” added Boreen.
The Wednesday night information session was just one of the events last week to recruit volunteers. A door-knocking campaign on Tuesday evening and an Equipment Expo on Saturday were also scheduled to attract interest in the department. Due to afire in Gallaway, the Equipment Expo was cancelled.
The Elko Fire Department will be providing fire suppression for vehicles, structures and wildfires, rescue support as well as a first responder program. The department expects to be established by fall.
Application packages for the Elko Fire Department are also available at the Jaffray Fire Hall and on the RDEK’s website.
Deadline for applications is Feb. 20, 2015.
“Volunteers are the heart of our departments. Without them, there is no fire service. We are hoping these information sessions will help inspire residents of the community to pick up a package and apply,” said Boreen.