The Township of East Zorra-Tavistock Fire Department has established an Auxiliary Firefighter program with the goal to prepare potential firefighters to step into department openings in a more prepared and trained fashion. The basic structure of the program would be to help prospective firefighters complete at least Firefighter 1 of the NFPA Firefighter Curriculum, attend regular training sessions in the stations, and in specific situations, help with drawn out, labour intensive events that have tasks that are non-life threatening. The overall goal will be to train new firefighters at a high level, create an opportunity to evaluate the firefighter before offering potential employment, and help sustain department rosters at a higher operating level. By formalizing a process for pre-training, the Township is able to offer insurance protection to the auxiliaries, and better protect the Township.
As openings appear on a department, the most qualified applicant in the respective district (based on knowledge, skill, availability & participation) at that time may be offered a probationary position. The applicants must live or work within the respective district they have applied for, or with the Township Chief’s approval, within a reasonable distance to the Firehall (approximately 5-8 minutes travel time.) There is no guarantee that employment will be offered to all auxiliary members.
Auxiliary members of the Fire Department will receive no remuneration, except expenses, during this time period. Once offered a probationary position, $1500 will be paid to a firefighter who has completed a regional recruit training program (approximately 125 hours). Costs of taking these courses are covered by the Township. All other expenses, (medicals, D-Z licenses) are the responsibility of the auxiliary member.
Firefighters that have left the fire service for more than 4 years will be required to re-apply through the auxiliary program, and will be required to complete Firefighter 1 of the NFPA curriculum again. Returning firefighters that have completed an equivalent program during that time period will not be required to do the recruit training, but will submit their completed training certificates to the pro board for review.
All auxiliary firefighters must have completed applications and be recorded at the Township office with a firm start date to ensure proper insurance coverage has been provided for them. Auxiliaries must attend 50 % of the yearly scheduled practices to remain on the auxiliary list.