By Nicole Brodzik
The St. Bonifacius Fire Department is looking to hire four new on-call firefighters to help support the city’s public safety unit.
“We’re looking for community members who want to serve,” Fire Chief Shane Weber said. “We’ll train people in medical and fire response. It becomes a big advantage to be prepared in emergencies when no one else knows what to do.”
Weber said that he’s looking for applicants that are at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma and live within the St. Bonifacius Fire Department’s service area. He also said that fire fighters are paid on an on-call basis and are alerted of emergency situations via a pager system. Firefighters are only expected to respond to calls when they are at home.
“I’m a school teacher, so if I get paged while I’m in the classroom, I’m not going to get up and leave,” Weber said. “That’s why we want more people. The law of averages says that if we have enough people, someone will be around when we need them.”
Weber estimated that the fire department responds to about 130 calls per year, but many of them don’t involve fires at all.
“We respond to semi roll-overs, snowmobiles falling through the ice, so it’s not always your typical house fires,” Weber said. “We actually had to get up a ladder once to save a cat.”
Weber said that besides being able to serve their communities, his fire fighters see a lot of value in the training their getting.
“No one has ever regretted joining our department,” Weber said. “When someone says their chest is tight, or the neighbor’s kid breaks their arm, you’ll know what to do. We help give you the skills to be confident in those emergency situations.”
He added that anyone that fits those few criteria are welcome to join and that while their is a physical test involved, he couldn’t think of a person who didn’t pass in his time with the department.
“We’ve got a really fun group of sheet rock specialists and engineers and teachers and nurses,” Weber said. “You become a part of this group of people who just love to serve. Anyone is welcome.”
For more information or to apply, visit stbonifire.com.