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Five new recruits join Penticton Fire Department

The new firefighters will allow for 8 person shifts 24/7
Five new firefighters join Penticton FD: Colton Gillies, Evan Guthrie, Blair Bosscher, Ryan Sutcliffe, Rob Leigh. (Mike Biden photo)

Across the world there is a hiring crisis but not in the Penticton Fire Department.

When the Penticton FD posted they were hiring for new firefighters they received over 300 applications, said fire chief Larry Watkinson. And those were quality applications, he added.

“We had the best of the best candidates applying,” said Watkinson last week.

“Penticton is a desirable place to live so that was a contributing factor. We have some extraordinary new recruits.”

Five new firefighters have joined the PFD, with some of those positions filling in retiring firefighters, said Watkinson.

“We are growing our ranks with the goal of properly staffing all our shifts,” he added.

Five new recruits who have just graduated have joined Penticton: Colton Gillies, Evan Guthrie, Blair Bosscher, Ryan Sutcliffe and Rob Leigh.

“Penticton council and the support of our community is making Penticton safer with the goal of minimum of eight firefighters on shift 24/7,” Watkinson told council.

There was an eight person shift fighting the house fire on Okanagan Avenue Friday.

“They stopped the fire fast,” said Watkinson.

Penticton can look forward to also seeing some new young officers in the community this summer.

On Monday, Penticton RCMP Staff Sergeant Bob Vatamaniuck told the city’s safety and security committee that three officers will be arriving at the detachment from the Depot Training Academy in February 2022.

“These spots have been filled with young cadets straight out of depot who will cut their teeth here,” said Vatamaniuck.

READ MORE: 3 new officers coming to Penticton in February

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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