TRENTON – Young firefighting enthusiasts, speak up now.
The Trenton Fire Department is looking for anyone between the ages of 16 and 18 years old who might be interested in becoming a part of a junior department.
At Trenton’s committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, members of the fire department were present to discuss the possibility of restarting a program that existed in the town more than 30 years ago.
“Something like this… might help kids in town that have interest in the fire department,” Mayor Glen MacKinnon said.
Coun. Fergie MacKay suggested the fire department look into the option after it came up during Communities in Bloom conversations, and he heard about Scotsburn’s junior department.
Chief Wayne Allain recently spoke with members from the Abercrombie department about their junior program.
If they were to run a program similar to Abercrombie’s, Allain estimated that insurance for each person would cost at least $650 or more, depending on how high their liability was.
He noted Abercrombie’s program allows members of the junior department to be on the scene of a fire, but not in the “hot zone.”
They would also require gear and pagers.
Training would cost approximately $1,200 per person, plus travel costs to the school in Waverley, Allain said.
He said people of that age group would soon be graduating and likely leaving the area.
“You would be investing quite a bit of money for someone who would be leaving.”
MacKinnon suggested it would still be a good asset for the community even if they wouldn’t be joining the town’s department.
“At least we’re training someone from our community in a field they’re interested in.”
Coun. Don Hussher suggested a program similar to police ventures.
Hussher said the youth involved gain many qualifications. He knows of a few people from the area who went through Police Ventures, and continued on to graduate from the Atlantic Police Academy.
“It turned out to be a very valuable asset not only to the police department, but the community itself.”
MacKay said he hadn’t anticipated youth being able to attend fire scenes. He said he pictured them at the station, and being taken under the wing of someone experienced.
On the committee’s request, the fire department will be investigating whether there’s any interest.
If there is, they’ll present pricing models and different types of junior departments to council, who will then make a decision about whether to reinstate a junior fire department.
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