The County of Brant Fire Department is hiring volunteer firefighters across their eight stations, with extra positions open to begin staffing the new Paris station.
The community relies on volunteer firefighters to respond to a number of different emergency situations including fires, car accidents and medical calls.
“At this time, we are looking for 28 people in our communities to join the program,” said Geoff Hayman, County of Brant Fire Chief. “It is a bigger number than normal this year because we are getting ready for the new Paris station. We’re adding an extra 10 members to the existing Paris hall that will assist in creating the core group of firefighters for the new location.”
The new station is scheduled to be completed in late 2023 or early 2024. County of Brant council members approved the new location, planned for the community’s north-end near Grand River Street North and Scott Avenue, late last year. It is estimated to cost about $4.5 million, including trucks and equipment.
“All of the new development in Paris has impacted traffic and causes congestion through downtown,” Hayman said. “The station is seeing potentially serious delays trying to get through to the other side, not only the trucks but the firefighters trying to get from where they work and live to the station. The new hall will help us respond to calls faster and more efficiently.”
In addition to the extra members in Paris, the County of Brant Fire Department is hiring 18 new members to fill open spots at other halls.
“We see about a six to ten percent turnover rate in a year so those positions need to be filled,” he said. “In this recruitment, we are looking to replace firefighters that have retired, resigned due to changes in their life or are unable to participate effectively. We now have a wide and diverse community and encourage those interested to apply”.
Hayman explained that application numbers are a bit lower than in years past, which he attributes to COVID-19.
“Normally we get to host information nights across the county to talk about the job and meet with potential applicants,” he said. “Unfortunately, due to COVID we weren’t able to do that this year and having the process all online creates its own challenges.”
Due to the reduced response, the application deadline has been extended from Friday, January 7 to Friday, January 21, with the anticipated start date of April 1.
Hayman said they are looking to hire individuals that want to give back to their community, in more ways than just responding to calls.
“This definitely isn’t an easy job,” he said. “Waking up at three o’clock on a Sunday morning in the middle of a snowstorm to respond to a car accident isn’t always easy, but there is so much more to the role than just answering that pager. These volunteers give so much back to the community, through events like boot toll fundraisers, wing nights, toy and food drives, and appearances in the Santa Claus Parades and other events. It can be a very rewarding position to be in and we are looking for people that are excited to invest in their community, because we will invest in them.”
Individuals interested in more information about applying to one of the open positions can visit www.brant.ca/recruitment.
The County of Brant is home to eight stations that are staffed by 185 volunteer firefighters. Halls are located in Paris, Burford, Cainsville, Mt. Pleasant, Onondaga, St. George, Scotland and at the Brantford Airport.