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Lumby Firefighter encourages others to Apply

Posted Wednesday, October 30, 2019

As Cindy Knight got into her turnout gear and grabbed her helmet, she said with a smile, “I cannot imagine not being a firefighter.” Knight has been a firefighter with the Lumby and District Fire Department for four years now, but her life outside of the hall might not be what most people picture when thinking of a firefighter.

“I am a mother of three and a grandmother. I want people to know that people of all abilities, sizes, and experience levels have something to contribute as a firefighter”, she said.

In a paid-on-call hall like Lumby and District, every member has a day-job, some of which can seem unrelated to the duties of a firefighter, but skills transfer over in surprising ways. In her day job, Knight is busy working as a cook at a care home, and as a caterer on the side. She’s found that her experience in busy kitchens translates well to the Fire Hall since she’s used to working on her feet for long hours and lifting heavy equipment.

For years Knight considered whether joining the department would be the right decision for her. She knew that she wanted to serve her community in some way, and when her daughter completed the Junior Firefighting program, she was nudged further towards applying.

“I mentioned to my family that I was thinking about applying, and without a second of hesitation, they said go for it! That encouragement helped me make up my mind, and now four years later, I cannot imagine not being here,” she said.

To Knight, having a solid work ethic and willingness to learn is more important than physical strength. “There aren’t as many barriers as some people may think. Lots of people think they aren’t strong enough or don’t have enough stamina, but don’t underestimate yourself. Within our hall, there are a wide variety of strengths, and everyone brings something different to the team.”

The scope in the situations that firefighters respond to is wider than some might think. Fires do not make up most of the calls; motor vehicle accidents, medical aid, gas leaks, and more are common. And when they do respond to fires, the scope in skills needed is also diverse. On scene, drivers, firefighters to run the hoses, the pumps, and traffic control are all needed.

Knight’s advice to people considering joining the Fire Department is this: “if you’ve been considering it, take it one step further and stop by the hall to learn more. It’s rewarding, and we have a supportive team here with a chief that cheers you on.”

The Lumby and District Fire Department is currently accepting applications for paid-on-call firefighters, and the department provides all of the necessary training. To apply at the Lumby and District Fire Department, visit the hall at 1769 Shuswap Ave, Lumby on any Tuesday night between 7-9 pm or call 250-547-9516.

And, for people that live in Electoral Area C near or on Silver Star, the Silver Star Fire Department is also recruiting new members. Seasonal residents are welcome to apply. To apply at the Silver Star Fire Department, Drop by the Silver Star Fire Hall located at 9885 Silver Star Road on any Tuesday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm to apply or call 250-549-1556 for more information.