Cindy Knight has been with the Lumby and District Fire Department for four years and already she can’t imagine not being a firefighter.
A mother of three and a grandmother, Knight’s message is simple: great firefighters come in all different forms.
“I want people to know that people of all abilities, sizes and experience levels have something to contribute as a firefighter,” she said.
The Lumby department is a paid-on-call hall, meaning every member has a day job. Knight works as a care-home cook and a caterer. They may not seem like jobs that have overlapping skills with firefighting, but Knight has found her experience in busy kitchens translates well to the fire hall since she’s used to working on her feet for long hours and lifting heavy equipment.
For years, Knight knew she wanted to serve her community in some way, and she had considered joining the hall many times over. It wasn’t until her daughter completed the Junior Firefighting program that Knight decided to pull the trigger on her application.
“I mentioned to my family that I was thinking about applying and without a second of hesitation, they said go for it! That encouragement helped me make up my mind and now, four years later, I cannot imagine not being here,” she said.
Being a firefighter is about a lot more than just fighting fires. Car accidents, gas leaks and medical aid are just a few of the calls crews attend to on a regular basis. When they do respond to fires, they rely on a long list of skills. Driving, running hoses, managing the pumps and controlling traffic are all essential parts of the job.
While there are skills that every firefighter needs, Knight says a hard work ethic and willingness to learn is the most important prerequisite.
“There aren’t as many barriers as some people may think,” she said. “Lots of people think they aren’t strong enough or don’t have enough stamina, but don’t underestimate yourself. Within our hall, there are a wide variety of strengths, and everyone brings something different to the team.”
The Lumby and District Fire Department is currently accepting applications for paid-on-call firefighters. All necessary training is provided by the department. To apply, visit the hall at 1769 Shuswap Ave, Lumby on Tuesday nights between 7-9 p.m., or call 250-547-9516 for more information.
For people who live in Electoral Area C near or on Silver Star, the Silver Star Fire Department is also recruiting new members. Seasonal residents are welcome to drop by the Silver Star Fire Hall at 9885 Silver Star Road on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. to apply, or call 250-549-1556.