The Point Roberts fire department will lose four seasoned volunteer firefighters in 2021 but has hired five new recruits to follow in their footsteps.
“We’re a training ground, a farm team, but it’s good to see them go on to their careers and when they are here, they do a tremendous amount for this community,” fire chief Christopher Carleton said.
The majority of Point Roberts volunteer firefighters are from Canada and they receive additional training and experience through the local department in exchange for their commitment to serving the community.
“They come in fully trained and have already spent $16,000 to $20,000 of their own funds for that training,” Carleton said of volunteer firefighters they hire from Canada. “They come here for experience and résumé-building and put in hundreds of hours a month serving this community while they’re here.”
The department pays for local residents to get their basic firefighter training in exchange for a two-year contract and firefighters looking to obtain EMT training through the department also need to serve a contract period.
Three of the four firefighters moving on full-time career positions will join the city of Vancouver’s fire department while the other will be joining the township of Langley.