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Tons of training still on tap for M.D. Fire Service

Posted on October 12, 2022 by Taber Times

By Cole Parkinson
Taber Times

Being prepared and well-trained is crucial for any fire department, and the Municipal District of Taber has taken a group approach to that. With six stations across the municipality, the service has been employing group training across all as a way to build camaraderie among the firefighters.

“One thing we found, we are a regional fire service. So, we work together with all of our stations and one thing that we really found was, if we’re going to work together, let’s train together and let’s learn together. And so we put on, what we like to call a regional class, so to speak. So, there are members from each of the stations coming in and participating in that training and it really helps to sort of bond all of our stations together as one instead of each being an individual silo — we come together as a regional service and we work well together,” explained Nathan Cote, regional fire chief. “A great example was even (training in late September). We had joint training with the Grassy Lake fire station, (they) came over and participated and we did some vehicle education just out back. So, it worked out really well, but it certainly helps for us to learn together, grow together, and create that large team throughout the entire municipality.”

And with the service always looking for new volunteers, that means they will need proper training before they get to go out to calls. But Cote also explained prior training isn’t needed for anyone who is interested in joining the volunteer service.

“We’re really fortunate in the fact that we have in-house instructors and stuff like that, that can teach all that stuff. So, you absolutely don’t need any experience or anything like that. We can bring that training and education to you and help out that way for sure,” he explained. “Training can be as much or as little as you kind of want. There’s some basic training that all of our members get, so when they first come onto the fire department, they kind of come in and they do an interview and the interview is kind of a get to know the person, but also get to know us as well and be able to ask any questions and things like that they want. So, it’s kind of a two-way thing to see if it’s something that works for them. But we go through a bit of an interview process and then, once they come on to the station, we don’t just hand out a radio and say, ‘here you’re firefighter now’ and go from there, you know, we really work to make sure that they integrate into the system well.”

Another portion of bringing on new firefighters is making sure they have experienced members around to answer any questions they may have.

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