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2013-12-21 at 14:52

Getting their start

By Matt Vis,
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Stefan Moreira has put in a lot of hard work and perseverance to become a firefighter.

Next week he will see that effort start to pay off.

Moreira was one of eight new recruits were officially sworn into service with Thunder Bay Fire Rescue on Saturday at the Thunder Bay Fire & Emergency Services Regional Training Complex on Hammond Avenue.

The eight new recruits, who bring the Fire Rescue Division up to 213 members, spent 13 weeks in a rigorous training program to graduate.

“It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work for all of us,” said Moreira, who was the valedictorian of the graduate training class.

“There’s a lot of physical training and test preparation. The written exam is not an easy thing to do. If you really get to know what you’re doing on the academic side and then the physical hard work those are the most important things.”

Fire chief John Hay stressed it was not an easy process for the new fourth class firefighters, and that they had to take strides to separate themselves from the crowd of applicants.

Many had put in years of hard work and dedication to get hired, and Hay believes his department is able to attract some of the top recruits in the province.

“It’s a hard 13 weeks. It’s a relentless training event and they made it through,” Hay said.

“They had to put their best efforts forward in everything they did. They showed extreme effort and preparation in everything they did. They’ve been trying to get a job here for a long time and they dedicated themselves to getting that job.”

One of the biggest themes of the graduation ceremony from members of the department was to emphasize the importance of a life balance to the new recruits. Director of training Bill Johnson spoke at length to the audience about the concept of paying debts to those that helped throughout the process and during their careers.

This balance is something that Moreira has already been able to become familiar with.

Moreira, 29, had his sights set on becoming a firefighters since his first year of university and he said his goal is to build a career he can look back on and be proud of.

“I think all of these guys are models we can aspire to, and hopefully 25 to 30 years down the road we can look at ourselves be happy with who we are and what we’ve accomplished,” he said.

The eight new recruits are Darrec Jay Folino, Moreira, Glenn Lorentz, Tyler Reinelt, Derek Stajkowski, Michael Carli, Cory Prevost and Greg Pettypiece.

Long service personnel were also honoured, with several members being recognized for 10, 20 and 30 years with the department.

Moreira and his fellow graduates will have to keep their celebrations fairly short, however, as they are going to be on the trucks starting on Monday and Tuesday to commence their careers.

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mystified says:
Congratulations to the new recruits. I hope you enjoy your new found career.
12/21/2013 5:19:55 PM
Molly says:
This is how Sudbury Ontario Fire Dept runs

The Fire Services Division is comprised of career and volunteer fire fighters dedicated to delivering fire protection services through the City of Greater Sudbury. There are approximately 107 career staff and 350 volunteer fire fighters that respond to about 4,600 emergency responses per year.

In Thunder Bay 213 career staff That's almost double Sudbury
12/21/2013 5:23:02 PM
unheard says:
why don't you goto Sudbury then
12/21/2013 8:04:56 PM
Loonlake says:
Sudbury is comprised of both Career and Volunteer/Paid On-Call FF's because Greater Sudbury was a forced amalgamation of Sudbury and Towns around it that only had Volunteer FF's. To be honest, I am not sure if Sudbury was a composite department prior to Mike Harris, however, it is now, as are several other departments in Ontario. The Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, prevents Cities from removing Full-Time Career Firefighters and replacing them with Volunteer/Paid on-call FF's for the sake of reducing service or saving money. This in itself helps reduce property loss and loss of life. Don't think for a moment that I am against Volunteer's. They provide a great service to their communities and are willing to stop their lives inorder to help others at the drop of a hat and for that alone they should be commended. Unfortunetaly, Volunteer's are not always available to respond when needed. Be thankful that you have a full time department to respond to your needs.
12/21/2013 9:12:02 PM
tsb says:
Sudbury is a city of 90,000 people surrounded by about a dozen small towns with populations ranging from 2,000 to 15,000, all of which is under as single municipal government covering a geographic area larger than the area from Neebing to Pass Lake. The firefighters within the urban area of Sudbury are all trained professionals, retained full-time and paid well. The volunteer firefighters are located in the rural areas, where fires happen less frequently and therefore there is less need for firefighting personnel.

Think of it this way: If Thunder Bay were to amalgamate with every single municipality around it, from Gillies to Shuniah, we wouldn't have full time firefighting staff in Gillies. We would retain their volunteer staff, under the banner of TBFR. That is what happened in Sudbury, and that is why they have so many volunteer fire fighters.

More realistic numbers for Thunder Bay might be 12o full time and 140 volunteer firefighters. Neebing and Mapleward don't need full-timers
12/21/2013 9:17:14 PM
fireice says:
Thanks for the useless info Molly, these are Thunder Bay Fire recruits and they will not be working or living in Sudbury??!! Hope they have a safe and successful career.
12/21/2013 8:19:36 PM
Sinjo says:
I don't know why everyone else is complaining. The hiring process is an open competition so why don't you go out for it if its so easy.
12/21/2013 11:17:16 PM
Chaos says:
Keep hiring those fire fighters so they can put out the abandoned buildings left as result of the ever increasing taxes. Fire and police are bankrupting this city with no end in sight. They have never proposed a balanced or reduced budget in my recollection and the sunshine list keeps growing.
12/22/2013 9:25:41 AM
abby says:
To all you rude and ignorant ppl bashing fire fighters, good riddance to you. My father is a fire fighter for over 25 yrs now. I am proud of the work he does and I am sure he and his men have some how helped everyone of you's in some way, shape or form. This is a career and not just a job. I love my dad and a lot of times in my life he has put his life in danger to save someone else's. Maybe not every day but even once is enough to me and his family. Don't hate, appreciate! Merry Christmas
12/22/2013 11:53:29 AM
mystified says:
Well said abby. Most of the whiners on this site are just Trolls or just miserable people. They like to see how many stupid people like their comments and if they aren't pleased they sit and refresh the page and click agree to their own stellar submission so they look somewhat smarter than a rock.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
12/22/2013 3:58:17 PM
musicferret says:
Interesting to read all the comments on here; some from the general public, many obviously from those within TPFD and family members.

My two comments:

1) We all do appreciate what the fire dept does, regardless of whether or not we believe they do little 99% of the time. Its the 1% that is important, and we all appreciate it.

2) Regardless of that appreciation, growing wages at a rate far greater than the rate of real wage growth in the community is a very very bad idea, and it is what has been going on with this dept for years. Something needs to change. Full timer numbers and staffing is also out of control, as the comparison with Sudbury shows.

Its time for an actual dialogue between the city and our fire services. We can't keep doing this. We value the service, but not to level we are paying right now. Its not jealousy, its about equity, and the current system is not equitable for taxpayers. Its a one-sided gouge fest.
12/22/2013 12:42:40 PM
fastball says:
I love these guys bashing the cops and firefighters for their jobs/wages. Nobody likes them or cares about them - until you REALLY NEED them. Then the tune changes a bit, doesn't it?
You haven't a clue about how those jobs work - nor how these people do those jobs.
"Firesleepers". "Pillowfluffing". "Gougefest" "Sunshine list"...such nice terms for people that put their lives on the line for total strangers every day. Those guys are better humans than I...because if I knew you had that attitude about me, I'd make sure I hit every red light on the way to your burning house.
You don't have to like 'em - just respect 'em and the job they do.
12/23/2013 10:23:30 AM
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