Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What is a volunteer firefighter?

The search for the elusive volunteer firefighter. If you've never been one, you may not even know they exist. You probably do know a few but don't know that you know them. They don't usually go around talking about their exploits.

So, where do you find them? Working in offices, driving trucks, baling hay, cooking dinner, spending time with their families. They blend into society like snowshoe hares in a blizzard, and only the pager can flush them out. They head to the hall, gear up, and pile into their BRT's (Big Red Trucks). In fact, if you see a fire truck in Northwestern Ontario, there is a good chance a volunteer is driving it. The city of Thunder Bay is the only department in Northwestern Ontario that doesn't utilize volunteers. Those poor city folks don't know what they're missing.

Sometimes volunteers firefighters are hard to locate because they actually are scarce. Many communities are in dire need of volunteers. If you want to read an article about the joys of recruiting, and the extremes we go to sometimes, click

Next time you see a BRT, say a prayer for your local volunteers. Better still, offer to help out. Who knows - you might even find that it's a lot of fun.

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