Yorkton Fire Protection Services want to bolster its staff with some homegrown talent.
Worries of attrition, coupled with a year without Parkland College’s full-time 1001 firefighter training program, created a need for new recruits.
A training program is expected to begin in November, running six months, with successful candidates and graduates moving to the Yorkton Fire Department’s temporary staff, along with the ability to respond and provide operational support through the department’s auxiliary members. The training will provide professional qualifications, according to Fire Chief Trevor Morrissey.
“Were looking for local people for local flavor with training being the emphasis, [training] with our equipment, in our city, to personalize it so we can build the best fire force that we can,” Morrissey said.
Parkland College took a year off of its Fire Training Program, due to the affects surrounding COVID-19 while also having to make improvements at its training site in Melville, according to the college. It is still continuing Industrial Fire training, which is shorter than the full-time course and specific training for certain organizations. The next intake is expected to begin in July 2023.
Still, the year gap created some worry for Morrissey and the rest of the fire department.
“The attrition rates are raising again, so we have a lot of retirements, both locally we have retirements and throughout the province, which usually you see movement of firefighters from centres to other centres, which has put a strain on our resources. So we want to make sure that were never falling short with responders in our department,” he said.
“We kind of rely [on Parkland College]. We have a lot of career individuals here that have gone through that program. So as they work through those challenges, we need to pick up some slack on our end to serve our business model.”
The program will include an in-depth recruiting process, including a digital application, aptitude testing, physical fitness testing, panel review and background checks, followed by the training itself.
Participants will be paid an hourly wage while training, along with hourly pay once training is complete.
You can apply for the recruitment process on the City of Yorkton’s website.
There will also be an informational night held on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Yorkton Fire Station.