The Steinbach Fire Department is hosting an open house this Saturday. 

They are hoping to add more firefighters to their team as their numbers have gone down in the past few years. 

Steinbach Fire Chief Kel Toews says you should come out if you have an interest in joining the crew. 

“If you've ever had the thought of becoming a firefighter, come by, check it out, no obligation. Talk to the firefighters, pick up an information package and an application, and if you find out this is something that you want to do, then fill out an application.” 

Toews says they are looking for people who are reasonably fit, have a great attitude, and want to serve the community. 

“We've got all sorts of people from different walks of life in the fire department. It's tough to pin down one thing, but we need someone who is excited to be a firefighter.” 

He adds that it’s also important that applicants are not too busy, as this will take up a huge chunk of your life and is a big commitment.

At information night, the fire department will discuss what type of commitment is involved and answer any questions you may have.

“And later, on May 14th I believe is the date, we even have an information night for spouses. So if they've got questions, they can come and ask because the information doesn't always get back home, so we have a special night for them.” 

Toews says it's important that the volunteers are supported in becoming firefighters.

"We couldn't do this without our spouses, they make huge sacrifices as well, and to be honest, we couldn't make it without employers who are backing their employees too. It's a big commitment for them. Everyone's got to be in on it."

Jude Vaz, a firefighter with the Steinbach Fire Department, shares what made him apply to be a volunteer firefighter. 

After moving to Steinbach from India, he was touched by the people of Steinbach. 

“You're walking down Steinbach going to the thrift store, and people are saying hi to me, and I'm wondering, ‘why are these people saying hi to me? This is so weird, they're all nice,’” he says. “And then I'm starting to get integrated into the community, and people are calling me over for suppers and lunches and having fried perogies in butter with onion rings.” 

The love and acceptance he received urged him to give back to the community. 

He started out with joining Pick Up & Walk. 

“That's how I fell in love with this community. I came to know about ten years ago about how Pick Up & Walk started. This is a great community, Steinbach, a bunch of people picking up garbage on the road,” he says. “No matter how much you earn or where you are in the status of your community, you will come and pick up garbage together.” 

Vaz later found another way to give back to the community. 

“I was driving by and I saw the firefighters are hiring.” 

Vaz says being a firefighter has been amazing, and the training he received was superb. 

“They know their stuff.” 

He says there are many ways to give back to the community, and being a firefighter has been an amazing experience for him. 

“If you really love your community, there are so many things. All you have to do is just look left and right, and it's right there.” 

The open house is this Saturday from 10am-3pm. 


With files from Carly Koop