Is Firefighting in your future? Become a member of the Parksville Volunteer Fire Department!
Please take the time to read through all of the following information regarding the process, program timeline, and expected commitment level. There is a list of FAQ's as well as an explanation as to why we are a volunteer/paid on call fire department. For additional information please do not hesitate to stop by the fire hall or contact us.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- When is practice?
Practice is Monday nights (Tuesday if Monday is a statutory holiday) x50 weeks per year.
- How long is the program?
The recruit training program is 10 to 11 months long.
- What is the PVFD's call volume?
The department responds to 350+ calls each year.
- Are there any opportunities?
Many different and varied training opportunities will be available to you.
- How do you know when there is a call?
Members are dispatched to emergencies via radio pagers, and are expected to respond to the fire hall when paged.
- Why become a volunteer?
There are many reasons to consider joining the PVFD. For starters, it's a great way of contributing to your local community. You can learn new skills, from firefighting and first aid to communications and technical rescue. Plus, you'll make new friends that you're likely to have for the rest of your life.
- Who can become a volunteer?
Just like the communities they come from, the PVFD is made up of people from all walks of life. There are men and women from all types of cultural backgrounds, age groups and professions. As long as you're over the age of 19, you can apply to join as a volunteer. For people under the age of 19, we offer a junior program, giving you a great introduction to life as a member of the PVFD.
- I'm not sure I have the time...
The time commitment is significant. Members practice a minimum of two hours, every Monday evening (Tuesdays when Monday is a holiday), typically between 19:00 hours and 21:30 hours.
- How do I become a member?
The process is easy. Firstly, download an application form, or pick one up at the fire hall.
- What's the process?
Once you've filled out and submitted an application form along with a criminal record check and a driver's abstract, you'll be invited to a quick interview. Once those checks are complete, you'll get a letter telling you if you've been successful. If you are, you're accepted as a probationary member for 11 months.
- What kind of training is there?
If you're accepted as a volunteer, you'll have to undertake the PVFD recruit training program. This program runs from 10 to 11 months and will teach you about the PVFD, how we work safely, the equipment we use and how we deal with the threat of fire. Later, you will train in Advanced Fire Fighting, Technical Rescue, and First Aid.
- What if I want to know more?
Talk to members of the department or stop by the PVFD fire hall. You can also contact us for more information.
- What are the physical requirements?
Firefighting can be strenuous and requires good physical fitness. Members need to be able to raise ground ladders, hoist equipment, climb stair wells, drag water filled hose lines, operate equipment and perform a miryad of other tasks, all while under the stress of an emergency situation and wearing up to 60 lbs (27 Kgs) of personal protective equipment.
- What age do I have to be in order to become a Firefighter?
Regular members range in age from 19 to 60 years of age. The department also offers a junior member program for persons between 16 and 19 years of age.
The Parksville Volunteer Fire Department accepts applications for Volunteer Paid-Call Firefighters throughout the year. Applications are reviewed during the PVFD's annual recruiting drive - normally in February and March.
When Recruitment Begins:
- Advertisements are posted in all local newspapers, on the City's website and here at PVFD.ca.
- Candidates are encouraged to consider carefully their qualifications against the required qualifications prior to completing and submitting the application form.
- Candidates should be aware that the level of commitment required is significant. All candidates are encouraged to contact the fire department with any questions.
- Includes a written application form, short listing of applicants, physical assessment and aptitude testing, a panel interview and references.
- Criminal record search and driving record to be submitted along with the application. Appointments are conditional upon a satisfactory criminal record search.
- Successful candidates will be required to undergo a medical assessment by their physician (Paid for by the PVFD).
- At the end of the process, the required number of successful applicants are hired, however if there are more successful applicants than needed, an eligibility list may be created and kept until the next recruiting campaign.
- Please note candidates may be eliminated from consideration at several stages in the recruiting/testing process.
- Great training
- Some training stipends
- Strong sense of accomplishment
- Member of the team (family)
- Helping/giving back to your community
- Attend 70% of weekly practices. Practices are held every Monday evening (Tuesdays when Monday is a Stat), between 19:00 hours to 21:30 hours (7pm to 9:30pm).
- Respond to emergencies during the day, evening and night.
- Participate in scheduled Sunday morning equipment maintenance (approx. once every eight weeks).
- Complete required training in a timely manner.
- Promote public safety.
- Work as a member of the team, for the benefit of the public, the department and the fire service.
- At all times act in a manner that will reflect positively on the Parksville Volunteer Fire Department.
- Attend as close to 100% of weekly practices as possible during the first 10 to 11 months.
- Attend one two-day weekend training session each month month, for the first 10 to 11 months.
- Be prepared to learn.
Why a Volunteer/Paid on Call Department?
- Economics - Maintaining or increasing service while keeping costs effective.
It is important to remember that while economics plays a role, volunteers are not free. "They are highly trained professionals who donate their time and expertise to protect and serve our neighbours in the event of a fire, medical or other emergency." They do the same job as a full-time firefighter.
- Public relations
- Only available alternative in many communities.
- They provide for a better community understanding of financial needs.