Cindy Knight is probably not what most people envision a firefighter to be.
But when the time comes, the mother of three and grandmother grabs her gear and answers the call for help.
Knight has been with Lumby and District Fire Department for four years, and there is no where else she would rather be.
“I cannot imagine not being a firefighter,” Knight said. “I want people to know that people of all abilities, sizes and experience levels have something to contribute as a firefighter.”
In a paid-on-call hall like Lumby, every member has a day job, some of which can seem unrelated to the duties of a firefighter, but skills transfer over in surprising ways.
In her day job, Knight works as a cook at a care home and as a caterer on the side.
She’s found that 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 wondered if joining the department would be the right move for her. She knew she wanted to serve her community in some way, and when her daughter completed the junior firefighting program, she was nudged further towards applying.
“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.
To Knight, having a solid work ethic and willingness to learn is more important than physical strength.
“There aren’t as many barriers as some people may think. 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,” she said.
Fires do not make up most of the calls; motor vehicle accidents, medical aid, gas leaks and other events are common. And when they do respond to fires, the scope in skills needed is also diverse. On scene drivers, firefighters to run the hoses and pumps, and traffic control are all needed.
Knight’s advice to people considering joining the fire department is: “If you’ve been considering it, take it one step further and stop by the hall to learn more. It’s rewarding, and we have a supportive team here with a chief that cheers you on.”
The Lumby and District Fire Department is currently accepting applications for paid-on-call firefighters, and the department provides all of the necessary training. To apply at the Lumby and District Fire Department, visit the hall at 1769 Shuswap Ave., any Tuesday night between 7 and 9 p.m. or call 250-547-9516.
For people that 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 apply.
To apply at the Silver Star Fire Department, drop by the Silver Star Fire Hall located at 9885 Silver Star Rd. on any Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. to apply or call 250-549-1556 for more information.
All People in Business Stories