DEER LAKE — The town’s fire department is looking for three new firefighters to completely fill its roster over the next few weeks.
Fire Chief John Dinney said, like other volunteer fire departments, Deer Lake has been losing firefighters due to economic reasons.
“Some took leave of absence, but some have gone out west to find work,” he said. “We understand it’s something they have to do, they have bills to pay, but now we have to recruit (replacements).”
Dinney said it is getting more difficult to recruit volunteers, even among those who stay home. Where they would once see 10 applications, they might now see two or three, and sometimes none.
It’s the same issue discussed at a provincial meeting back in June when fire Comm. Derek Simmons came to Deer Lake to discuss local issues with fire department officials across the region.
Cormack fire Chief Chris Foster said at the time that the smaller fire departments were losing staff to the larger ones, with some going from his town to Deer Lake. Some weeks, he said, there may be one or two firefighters available.
Dinney said with 28 members, he doesn’t consider Deer Lake to be short-staffed just yet. But he does hope to have the number up to over 30 as soon as he can.