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Fire department in Central Okanagan seeking new members

Nov. 30 is the deadline for applications to become a member of the Joe Rich Fire Rescue Department. Global News

A fire department in the Central Okanagan is seeking new members.

The Joe Rich Fire Rescue team says it’s been wanting to recruit for some time, but the coronavirus pandemic put that on hold.

According to the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, the fire department has two stations located just outside the eastern boundary of Kelowna and serves around 550 homes and 1,200 residents over an area of approximately 50 square kilometres.

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The regional district says being a paid-on-call firefighter requires serious commitment, stating the job is to save lives and property.

As to why they’re hiring, the fire department says it needs to keep its roster full.

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Prospective members are asked to be in good physical condition between the ages of 19 and 65, and to send an email with their contact information to joerichfirecommunity@rdco.com

Training will be provided, with the fire department asking contact information to be sent in by Nov. 30.

Prospective members must live within eight kilometers of Station 51 (11481 Highway 33) or Station 53 (6550 Goudie Road).

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“This isn’t a full-time job for everyone, so there’s always attrition over time,” Joe Rich Fire Chief Ben Wasyliuk told Global News.

“We’ve actually been holding off of recruiting due to COVID-19. We feel like with the precautions in place, we are able to do an intake and we feel whoever wants to sign up, we can keep them safe.”

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