Saskatchewan

No recent aboriginal recruits at Regina fire department

The city of Regina is considering changes to its hiring practices after noting no aboriginal recruits were found for recent jobs in the fire department.

Hiring goals

11 years ago
Duration 1:50
Diversity in Regina's fire department poses challenges, Molly Thomas reports.

The city of Regina is considering changes to its hiring practices after noting no aboriginal recruits were found for recent jobs in the fire department.

"[With] the current vibrant economy in Saskatchewan, people are making career choices and maybe the opportunities out there are pretty good at the moment," Trevor Brice, the city's deputy fire chief, told CBC News Tuesday, offering one possible reason for a decline in the number applicants, including self-identified First Nations and Métis, for fire-fighter jobs.

According to the city, from 2006 to 2009, 32 people with First Nations or Métis background applied for fire-fighter jobs, and 10 of them were successful.

There were no openings available for anyone in 2010.

In 2011, while eight First Nations and Métis people applied, none were successful in being hired.

Finding qualified applicants may be part of the problem, Brice said.

An applicant must have some pre-qualifying training which can cost up to $30,000 and courses are not available in Saskatchewan.

"It's quite an expensive educational process," Brice said. "So that can restrict the number of people that can apply, and it restricts the pool that we can fish."

City officials are considering scholarships and mentoring as a way to find more recruits.

They are also exploring the notion of a local fire training academy.

With files from CBC's Molly Thomas

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