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CHARLIE LAKE, B.C. – The Charlie Lake Fire Department is looking to build up its roster of volunteer firefighters.

At a minimum, eight recruits are being sought, and Chief Edward Albury says the floor is open to anyone age 19 and up, so long as they have a positive attitude and the willingness to take on the training.

“They want to learn, they come enthused. Every one of them has a different background, with that background we learn from them as well – hazmat techs, principals of schools, as far as what their careers are, it’s varied,” said Albury of his current team.

“It just shows that we take, and would be happy to take people from any walks of life,” he added.

The job requires dedication, and recruits should come prepared to tackle all physical aspects of the role, said Albury, noting training is divided between theory and practice.

“Firefighting is a physical job, I’d say 80% of what we do here is physical. So you do need to be in some kind of shape to do it. And have a good head on your shoulders, common sense does play a big part in this,” said Albury. “But we take you knowing nothing and you leave knowing a lot.”

He added the fire department is willing to invest in their members, noting volunteers typically enjoy a three to five-year career at Charlie Lake.

Practice is held every Thursday, with an extra weekly session for new recruits until they pass their one-year probationary period.

“We work with their availability as best we can, very seldom do we have mandatory that they have to meet,” said Albury, noting there is an attendance percentage for recruits.

Albury says he’s looking forward to being able to host outreach events once the pandemic passes, noting it’s an area where recruits can jump in as well.

“Once we get out of this COVID period, we’ll be getting back into our prevention side, which means we do prevention events,” Albury said. “We visit the schools, we have tours at the fire hall, everything from an extinguisher day to just a fire safety day.”

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