If becoming a volunteer firefighter sparks your interest, the Metchosin Junior Firefighter program is a step in the right direction.
About 80 per cent of participants in the junior program move on to become regular volunteer members, said Metchosin Fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop.
The program has morphed a little during the 15 years it’s been offered. It involves four days at the fire department and includes much of the training required to become a regular, she noted.
“The expectation is that they can continue and come to practice if they want after the course,” Dunlop said.
Participants between 16 and 18 years of age stay at the hall for one or two nights during the four-day program, depending on their schedules.
“They get all of the training we conduct during our regular Thursday night practices, such as first responder and extrication training and whatever else is available,” Dunlop said.
“They don’t respond to because it’s not our policy to deploy underage youth.”
The standard practice is to accept four applicants, who receive school credits for completing the course.
Although the program is open to anyone who qualifies, those who live outside of Metchosin’s catchment area can’t become full-fledged members for the department, Dunlop explained.
Graduates can apply to become a regular member once they are 19 years of age.
The department is in the process of scheduling the next Junior Firefighter program. If you are interested, go to metchosinfire.ca and fill out an application.