Firefighters serve a valuable role in community

High Prairie fire chief Ken Melynk promotes the value of joining the fire department, citing many reasons.

Message from the fire chief’s desk

Ken Melnyk

As I begin this year’s message, I must express my appreciation to the businesses and families that have contributed to the creation of our firefighting team.

On behalf of the High Prairie Volunteer Fire Department, a sincere – thank you!

Without your support, we would not be able to muster up this team of men and women who are determined to attain our goals of keeping our residents safe.

I must also take this opportunity to thank all those in our fire service who have contributed to the goals of this fire department.

With the help of the people of our community, the fire department can continue its journey to protect and save with the help of these courageous volunteers and the support of their families for their sacrifices.

Become a volunteer firefighter. The greatest experiences of your life are waiting for you.

In addition, this is one of the best things you can do for your community.

Firefighters are considered public heroes. It is very rewarding to be working with a solid team and helping others in need.

Probably the biggest benefit you get is the satisfaction of providing a valuable service to your community.

Another benefit is the camaraderie you will feel with your fellow volunteers.

Fire departments can feel like a family. You will have a whole group of close friends.

You can also learn valuable skills that are useful in your regular job, including leadership skills, fundraising, public relations, and emergency skills.

Volunteers may not be paid any money for the work they contribute, but the benefits to both the volunteer and the organization you volunteer for, your time and skills to, are priceless.

The safety of our firefighters is the department’s number one priority. The fire department goes to great lengths to ensure the safety of all our firefighters.

As a member of the department, volunteer firefighters are expected to report to regular or special training sessions as often as possible and must meet the department’s minimum attendance requirements of 75 per cent to ensure that all firefighters maintain a safe level of training.

Fires and emergencies do not follow a schedule or stop during holidays or inclement weather.

Although there is no mandatory schedule as to when volunteers must be available there is a constant need for volunteers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Volunteer members are asked to be on-call as much as possible on a regular basis to ensure coverage in the event of larger scaled incidents.

Obviously, a person can’t be available all the time and you are not expected to be.

Volunteer firefighters are expected to be available to respond to calls as often as their time will permit.

The benefits of joining the volunteer fire department include; free training, free life insurance, contributing to make our community a safer place, free uniform after probation, the prestige of becoming a public figure and community leader, and a $3,000 tax credit on your income tax next year.

In addition to all this, you will contribute [lessen] the workload of the present volunteers. More volunteers makes less work and fewer demands for each individual member.

More firefighters means more opportunities for friendships, and most importantly, it means our community is a safer place to live.


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