Recruiting to ever-evolving fire service poses unique challenges in the NWT 10 Tuesday October 6 2015 FIRE PREVENTION WEEK 2015 15101CE0 If you got this card youre ready to vote Federal election day is October 19. Did your voter information card arrive in the mail It tells you that youre registered to vote and explains when and where you can vote. If you didnt receive one or if it has the wrong name or address check update or complete your registration at elections.ca. Or call 1-800-463-6868 TTY 1-800-361-8935. Elections Canada has all the information you need to be ready to vote. Tema Trust as it is also known has become Canadas leading provider of peer-support family assistance and training for pub- lic safety and military personnel dealing with operational stress with its Heroes are Human campaign. Last week it was reported eight of the 15 paramedics who responded to the fatal collision that killed a grandfather and his three grandchildren in Ontario Sept. 27 have taken time off to seek help for PTSD. Already in 2015 30 first responders and eight mili- tary members have died by suicide. Right across Canada there are chal- lenges recruiting volunteers Dewar said. There are a lot of organizations compet- ing for the same volunteers. Yellowknife has challenges retaining and they have a full-time and paid on-call service. It is ex- tremely challenging in smaller communi- ties. Recruitment is an ongoing continu- ous endeavour. Dewar said that despite the challenging nature of the work or maybe because of it being a firefighter is a rewarding experience. As fire marshal I encourage all NWT residents to get involved in the fire ser- vice he said. There are a lot of benefits - community pride comradeship both with the local fire department and as part of a larger community across the country and there is potential for those with career as- pirations as well. He said MACA offers an extensive list of fire service educational opportunities certi- fied and non-certified available to all NWT communities through the MACA School of Community Government. There is a range of other positions available in any fire service too the department needs more than firefighters to operate including communications and desk work. There is a place for anybody in the fire service Dewar said. It takes everyone in the community to have a successful fire department. By CRAIG GILBERT The work of a fire marshal is never done. It includes responsibility for investigating fires overseeing fire prevention efforts en- forcing fire safety regulations for buildings and fire service training. Municipalities in the NWT are not le- gally required to have fire departments but those that do are subject to strict regula- tion and receive funding to help stay up- to-date. Fighting fires is a tough job that is constantly evolving and finding and retain- ing volunteers is a challenge especially in smaller communities. Its a constantly moving target NWT Fire Marshall Chucker Dewar said. Thirty years ago if you had a fire hat a jacket and an extinguisher you were a firefighter. Its not like that anymore. Times change and we need to evolve. To do so the Department of Munici- pal and Community Affairs MACA has developed a toolkit to help local fire de- partments recruit and retain the bravest among us with resources to help with se- lection orientation training retention and evaluation. It takes a certain breed of individual Dewar said. You have to be physically fit and adapted to the Northern climate. With upwards of eight months of winter the NWT is a difficult place to conduct fire operations. With the efforts of groups like the Tema Conter Memorial Trust the mental health effects for first responders including post- traumatic stress disorder PTSD are start- ing to get the attention they deserve. The PhotoMicheleTaylor Events such as the open house at the Yellowknife Fire Department on Oct. 3 are designed in part to promote the service to potential volunteers current or future like Isaiah Foss 6 who got a giant hug from YKFD mascot Sparky.