Last week's committee of the whole meeting was an exciting one for the Strathmore Fire Department (SFD), as they welcomed seven new firefighters to their team. SFD Fire Chief David Sturgeon introduced each of the new recruits and provided a quick background on who everyone is.

  • Katelyn Redekopp. Redekopp who grew up West of Strathmore in Cheadle and her family has lived in the area for over 150 years, and on top of now being a volunteer firefighter she serves on the Vault Cultural Collective's board of directors.
  • Alaine Sharpe. The recent winner of the Rookie of the Year Award for 2022, Sharpe recently moved to Strathmore in 2021 and has quickly made herself a big part of the community and a valuable team member for the SFD.
  • Simon Bradley. An early supporter of the Adopt-a-Hydrant program, Bradley brings valuable experience to the SFD with his full-time career knowledge asTask Force 2 Manager
  • Benjamin Morris. He and his family are huge supporters of animal rescues, and they adopt several animals as well. Morris is also an engineer in his full-time job, so he brings a technical flair to the SFD.
  • Austin Venturelli. Venturelli has spent the last 9 years working with the non-profit homeless sector, and aspires to be a full-time firefighter in Strathmore.
  • Rebekah Voisin. Voisin is currently taking her primary care paramedic course, and like Venturelli hopes to become a full-time firefighter.
  • Richard Reynolds. Also known as "Young Richard," he is currently a student at SAIT.

Even though they're new team members, they're already quite familiar with the SFD as they spent the last year training hard to get fully certified to be a firefighter.

"It's pretty impressive the amount of time that they put forward just to get to their certification levels. They need to put in an extra 300 hours a year just to get their certification, so it's no small task. We rely heavily on them and I don't think there's ever going to be a time where we won't," Sturgeon said.

Volunteer firefighters are very important to the SFD, as Sturgeon explained they don't have the budget to hire the amount of full-time firefighters that could be needed in certain scenarios. For example, a standard housefire needs 16-20 people, and if it becomes a multi-family residence or a big store you may need 46-53 people.

“ Volunteers allow us to ensure we have adequate capacity at any given time through pagers notifications to ensure we have the resources available to respond to larger more complex events, they are highly trained and are able to do any of the jobs on the incident scene as all of our full time personnel. ”

Sturgeon also gave a shoutout to Kimball Yorston, who is responsible for training all the recruits and puts a lot of effort into making sure each of the recruits is ready to support the community however they can. Olson will be getting right back to work with 5 new recruits who will hopefully be joining the team next year.

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