The Huntsville Lake of Bays Fire Department is looking for recruits.
Deputy Fire Chief Paul Calleja says they’re looking for 10 to 15 people to join the department across its various fire halls. He says applicants must be over 18, a full-time resident of Huntsville or Lake of Bays, as well as have a high school diploma, driver’s licence, and reliable means of transportation.
“We bring individuals on that have virtually no firefighting experience whatsoever, and that’s our job to get you trained and certified, make you part of the team here, and work you into our program,” says Calleja.
According to Calleja, the time commitment can vary wildly depending on how busy the year is and where a volunteer is stationed, ranging anywhere from 150 hours to 450 hours in a year.
“They are compensated for it, but it’s definitely not a full time job,” says Calleja. “But it is as rewarding as it gets. And if you like the challenge, if you like teamwork, if you like to learn new things and be part of a really proactive team, then this is the place for you.”
The department will hold an open house 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 13 at 1 Payne Drive in Huntsville, to answer questions and provide information for potential recruits.
“We also encourage that you bring your partner, significant other, family member, because they’ll hear it a little bit differently than you will,” says Calleja. “The person that wants to be on the fire department hears the exciting part of it, and that’s very important to them. Their partner often hears the commitment side of it, and that’s a discussion that needs to happen at home.” He adds that volunteering should also be discussed with your employer.
Applications open Dec. 1 at the Town of Huntsville’s website, and run until Dec. 31.