Muskoka To-DAILY

Gravenhurst Fire Department host new recruits open house July 17 for fall course

GRAVENHURST — The annual spring and summer effort to recruit volunteer firefighters has been met with “good interest” from the local community according to the Fire Chief Larry Brassard in a town release Wednesday.

We want you! That's the message for men and women at the Gravenhurst Fire Department.

We want you! That’s the message for men and women at the Gravenhurst Fire Department.

“This year we expanded our social media presence with our own Twitter account and we’ve been profiling some of the people who make our team a really strong one.”

The response has been so positive, that the department is accelerating its selection process with the hope of doing its first “fall” training program just for new firefighters.

“In the past five years or so, we’ve always partnered with the other Muskoka fire departments to begin our training program in January, but mid-winter presents some challenges when it comes to the practical component of our training,” said Brassard. “This year, we’re piloting a fall training program with Huntsville/Lake of Bays fire department to assess whether this might be a better time locally to do some of our training,” he added.

The department is hosting an open house Monday July 17 at 7 p.m. at its main Harvie Street fire station, downtown, for those who wish to begin the process of becoming a firefighter.

“We set out all of the expectations up front so people know what they’re in for,” said the chief.

The training to become a firefighter is demanding and becoming more intense each year and not all who start the process make it through to the end. It’s a physically demanding job to begin with and the need for proper and continuous training means that people have to be committed to this endeavor for the long haul, if they truly want to succeed. We give them all the tools and support they need to succeed, but in the end, it’s those with true grit and determination who make it through to graduation day.”

Brassard noted an increasing interest amongst women with almost half of the applicants received so far this year being from women.

“Diversity is an important element of delivering public services and gender diversity is increasingly important for all fire services that want to be reflective of their community make-up,” he said.

Currently the Gravenhurst department has six women on its roster of active firefighters and Brassard hope they’ll be adding more with this next class of recruits.

Deadline for applications for the fall recruit class is July 17 and those who haven’t had the opportunity to complete an application can do so at the open house Monday evening.

With classes scheduled to begin in September, the competition is sure to heat up along with the summers temperatures!

For more information and applications please contact the Gravenhurst Fire Department at 705-687-3414, or visit,

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