Metchosin, Langford junior firefighter programs prepare for future

Junior firefighters often fledge into full-time volunteer work

Teens Grayson Kerr

A pager beep alerts three Metchosin teens to every emergency in the district. They awaken in the night to dispatch calls for car crashes, house fires and cardiac arrests.

When a few of Grayson Kerr’s friends became junior firefighter’s with Langford Fire Rescue, he thought it would be a great opportunity. He approached the Langford department and learned he had to apply with the department in his community of Metchosin.

“It’s an awesome program. It’s a way to get people in the department when some halls are struggling to get members,” Kerr said.

Metchosin fire Chief Stephanie Dunlop said most junior firefighters stay with the department after they become 19.

These junior firefighters can’t respond directly to calls, but they can rush to the hall and help firefighters gather equipment and clean the trucks afterwards.

“I like to listen to all the calls and show up and help too,” said Dallin Madill,17.

“They do training like the rest of us,” said Dunlop. “We treat them just as a regular member. We give them a pager and want them to feel valued and important so they take it seriously.”

When the teens are out in the field or during training they wear blue helmets to differentiate between the adult volunteers.

The junior firefighters also play a key role in public education and fundraising.

 

During the three years spent as junior firefighters the teens study and take courses through the Justice Institute of B.C. When they turn 19 they only need to take a couple more courses and then the become certified firefighters through the National Fire Protection Association.

 

“It broadens their horizons with their future life goals,” Dunlop said. “They learn to understand other people and to see that there is more to life than school, cars and girls.”

Sam Harle,17, and Madill are second generation firefighters. Madill’s father Mike just retired after volunteering for 13 years and Harle’s father Neil is a five-year veteran.

“I remember hearing my dad’s pager go off in the middle in the night and he would go off on calls to help people,” said Madill, who plans to pursue a career in firefighting.

Metchosin has 37 firefighters including the three juniors. Four junior firefighters are on board at Langford fire department and most move on to become full members when they are 19. They have 52 volunteer firefighters and eight career members.

The junior program in Langford is only open to teens 16 and 17 years old.

“We don’t get enough time to train 18-year-olds before they turn 19 to become full members,” said assistant chief Scott Davidson of Langford Fire Rescue. “We have better success when they’ve been junior members for three years.”

 

To join either Langford or Metchosin’s junior firefighter program all applicants must be at least 16 and live within the municipality.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dog dies, Victoria man arrested after incident in Oaklands

Police called to ‘incident between a man and a dog’ Monday afternoon

Booms go up in Gorge Creek after hydrocarbon spill

The source of the spill is being investigated

Prince Harry reunites with Meghan and Archie in Victoria

Buckingham Palace said Tuesday it would not comment on private matters

Supreme Court determines next phase of Victoria’s plastic bag ban on Thursday

The Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether or not it will hear the appeal

Put away the shovels, week of rain ahead for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada calling for wet weather until Sunday

VIDEO: Greater Victoria mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

Skier dies at Fernie Alpine Resort

It’s the second person to die in a tree well at a ski resort in B.C. in the past week.

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Vancouver Island home to one of Canada’s largest private skateboard collections

Eric Pinto owns hundreds of boards, spanning multiple decades

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Most Read