There will soon be some new faces at the Ootischenia Fire Department (OFD).
OFD acting fire chief Lenn Coats said he’s already received a handful of firefighter applications as part of a recruitment initiative that he conducted this month.
“It feels really good to have gotten these applications,” said Coats.
“It’s also really neat to see all of these people that want to help out and give back to the community.”
The department will be training a total of five firefighters over the coming months and they’ll have to complete weekly training camps and course material.
The firefighters will develop two key skill sets during their training with the department.
“We’ll start them off with what’s called exterior skills. Some skills they develop include applying water into a house from the outside, deploying and handling a hose, setting up and raising a ladder and putting on their gear within two minutes.”
“We then teach them what’s called interior skills. That’s includes forceable entry to learn how to get into a house to suppress a fire and search skills to be able to get themselves and others out of a fire.”
The OFD will also train the firefighters about hazardous materials they might have to deal with during their careers.
All of the people that have applied to become a firefighter with the OFD are from the Ootischenia and Castlegar area.
The OFD operates east and west of the City of Castlegar and typically receives around 100 calls a year.