Huron Shores fire chief Jim Kent is looking at increasing his firefighter crew after COVID saw nine members taking a leave and possibly not returning.
The force, with departments in Iron Bridge and Little Rapids, services the two communities and surrounding areas.
“We currently have 36 firefighters but since COVID restrictions we have nine on leaves-of-absences and we are not sure how many will be returning,” the chief said. “We are allowed by our constitution to have 45 members total between the two halls but that figure also has to include any cadets (members between 16 and 18 years of age) of which we currently have only two cadets. I would like to get our number of active members back up to about 40 if possible and more would be great.”
Currently the department requires fully vaccinated applicants, but that could change as COVID requirements are lifted.
The Huron Shores Fire department (HSFD) uses a point system to allocate an honorarium to fire fighters which they receive from the municipality - a point for each practice they attend as well as two points from a spring training day and a fall training day held on a Saturday.
Practices are held on the first and third Wednesday evenings for Station 2 in Iron Bridge and second and fourth Wednesdays for Station 1 in Little Rapids. The months with a fifth week a joint training night with both halls participating is held.
A member also gets points from having or maintaining a CPR/First aid certificate. We usually hold a course and pay for this training, but if someone gets their training through work then that is acceptable as well.
Additional points are awarded for attending parades, fairs or manning booths for public relation events as well as performing odd jobs around the fire halls or trucks.
“We do not award points for attending calls as we want to stress the importance of being trained so members are ready and knowledgeable to attend the calls,” Chief Kent said. “An average member usually walks away with less than $1,000 per year so we truly are a volunteer organization and this is not a money making venture.”
“With that being said, a young person interested in pursuing a career as a professional fire fighter will receive the necessary certification and training though HSFD if they choose to seek full time employment from a paid department.”
HSFD does interior and exterior fire suppression, and rescue as well as auto extrication and are getting into water rescue.