Recruitment is a big part of how the Cariboo Fire Centre gets prepared for the Wildfire season.
Fire Centre Manager Mike Gash says they’re busy recruiting for both their own fire crews where they’re looking fill vacancies while also looking to expand their junior firefighter program.
Gash says these are kids that are currently in Grade 12 and the Fire Centre runs a course with the schools in 100 Mile House, Quesnel, and Williams Lake.
“Through the Junior Firefighter Program, we’re looking to expand it this year to between 18 to 20 hires out of that program,” Gash said, “We’re really excited about that because that’s local kids that come with accommodation and historically finding accommodation in our towns has been a bit difficult for some of our firefighters so this is a great way to expand our program locally.”
Gash said the Cariboo Fire Centre is also in the second year of running a First Nations boot camp which is targeted toward young Indigenous people from the Cariboo Region.
“We’ll be doing that boot camp up at the Puntzi Air Tanker Base in May and we’re hoping to run 12 to 15 persons through that boot camp with the goal of hiring them either our BC WildFire crews or local Indigenous Contract crews,” Gash said.