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Volunteer fire service planned for Fort William First Nation

Chief Peter Collins says the service will supplement the firefighting agreement with the city
Peter Collins
Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins. (Leith Dunick,

FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION, Ont. —  It already has a firefighting agreement with Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, but the Fort William First Nation wants to establish its own volunteer fire service as well.

"It's time for us to do something in our own community to protect the assets we have," said Chief Peter Collins.

According to Collins, a resident of Fort William First Nation submitted a formal proposal to the band council after graduating from the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training Program at Confederation College.

"We want him to lead the way," Collins said.

He said implementation is still in the early stages, but he expects the initial goal will be to recruit six or seven volunteers who would become certified and "get ready for opportunities that may come along."

Fort William First Nation currently pays an annual fee to the City of Thunder Bay for firefighting services.

Collins said that agreement will remain in place, but the volunteer service will support it by making it possible to "react a little faster" to emergencies in the community.