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Fire Dept Hiring

The Russell Fire Department is looking to add to the team this upcoming September by adding three to four new firefighters. Hiring at the Russell Fire Department is not a common occurrence; unlike many volunteer departments we have historically had a very low turnover rate. Credit must be given to the firefighters and officers for their dedication and commitment to the safety of our community, by maintaining a long serving staff the population benefits from an experienced team that is ready to respond.


The Russell Fire Department is not your old fashion “boys club” type of department. New trainees are required to go through approximately three months of training which takes place during numerous week nights and some weekends before they are able to respond as a probationary firefighter. The probationary period lasts for at least one year, after which a final exam determines if they are to be elevated to full firefighter status. Upon completion all firefighters are required to attend bi-weekly training sessions to maintain their skills. Once fully trained, the primary task for our firefighters is to respond to calls, which can take place at anytime of the day or night. Ask anyone who has been on the department for any length of time and they will tell you that you can always rely on calls to come in at the most inconvenient times. Some of the funniest stories you will hear in the fire department are related to this topic.


Russell firefighters are also certified medical first responders, so we are required to respond to emergency medical calls. Due to the present agreement with emergency services these calls are normally of the more dire nature. Taking into account that we primarily service the village of Russell we often have to deal with people we know in this capacity, this is a situation that any potential candidate should consider before applying.   


So what does it take to be a Russell Firefighter? The answer to this question is as varied as the backgrounds and skills of our present staff. Men and women aged 18 to 55, professionals to labourers, shift workers, daytime workers, part-time workers and retired workers. Despite the varied lifestyles of our present team, there are some specific requirements; for obvious reasons firefighters must live within a reasonable distance of the fire hall. Additionally, due to the physical nature of firefighting a certain level of physical fitness is also necessary. Due to the work commitments of our present staff we would give special consideration to anyone able to provide daytime coverage. One other matter we would ask potential candidates to consider is commitment. Taking into account the expense in time and money required to train new recruits, we are asking that they plan for a 4 to 5 year commitment. It may sound like a long time but most people that join wouldn’t quit for anything, look at Ron Hubbard who has been with the department for over 30 years and is still going strong. One last concern for anyone interested in joining is their own family. When someone joins the fire department so does their family, our firefighters have to sacrifice some of their personal time towards training, calls and volunteer commitments, which means time is often taken from what is now family time. If applying for one of the available positions is of interest to you, we strongly advise that you discuss this openly with your family first. If you need more information about the demands speak with someone presently on the department. We are asking anyone interested to please send their resume and a lead letter to the attention of Bruce Armstrong, Fire Chief at;

Russell Fire Department, P.O Box 220. Russell, ON. K4R1C9. or fax to: 613-445-1867

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