Spruce Grove Fire Services (SGFS) welcomed six new firefighter/paramedic recruits to its ranks on Monday, Feb. 18, after completing a female-focused recruitment program in November 2018.
Each recruit, who successfully met the entry requirements established by SGFS, has now begun a mandatory year of training, mentorship and probation, which is customary for all new hires.
The female-focused recruitment program was conducted in an effort to hire from a largely untapped demographic.
“In the Capital Region, fire services is a very competitive field for recruits and in recent years we noticed a disproportionate number of females applying for positions,” says Spruce Grove Fire Chief Robert Kosterman, adding that SGFS currently has one full-time female firefighter.
To address this, SGFS consulted and met with the Ministry of Status of Women, SGFS members and the City’s regional partners, and it was determined that a female-only recruitment was the best option to tap into a rich resource of recruits.
“This recruitment program created an environment for us to attract a new pool of excellent candidates to provide compassionate care and fire protection in our community,” Kosterman says. “We did not set out to simply increase the number of females who work for SGFS; our goal was to recruit the right people for the job in a competitive workforce.”
In 2019, SGFS has an approved full-time workforce of 52 firefighters, two prevention staff, four administrative staff and five chief officers.