By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The M.D. of Taber Regional Fire Service is currently recruiting new volunteer firefighters.
“Our volunteers consist of everyday people, they could be truck drivers, police officers, construction workers, farmers, ranchers, or work at the local Co-Op,” said Nathan Coté, the regional fire chief for the MD of Taber and the director of emergency management. “They are from all different age groups, backgrounds, and cultures. We pride ourselves on being a very diverse group coming together to help our neighbours and community members.”
The volunteers, Coté says, are recognized on social media during National Volunteer Week, which is from April 16-22, 2023. After that, they will be further honoured at an appreciation BBQ in the summer.
The Regional Fire Service currently consists of approximately 90 members, 88 of which are volunteer firefighters.
“They are an extremely dedicated group of members who spend time away from their normal day-to-day tasks performing activities such as responding to fire calls, rescue calls, fire training, attending fire courses, attending community events, and maintaining apparatus and equipment,” Coté says.
Coté states that all of the members have served for different lengths of time. The members of the junior firefighter program are between 16 to 18 years old while the long-term members, like Station 1 Hays fire chief Jim Yaroslawsky, has served 36 years, and Station 3 Enchant Captain Murray has served 41 years. Coté believes all members show great dedication to the Fire Service and to the citizens of their districts.
Coté says those who are interested in volunteering with the Fire Services can go to the MD of Taber website where the online application is, or they can visit one of the M.D.’s fire stations and pick up an application. Once an application is submitted, Coté says, the Regional Fire Services contacts the applicant, brings them in for a tour of the local facility and conducts an interview. The tour and the interview allows the organization to get to know the new candidate and answer any questions they may have regarding volunteering, Cote says.
“We are truly blessed and so proud of the volunteers that risk and sacrifice so much in the service of others,” Coté says. “We want to thank each and every one of them from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for all that you do.”