FREDERICTON (GNB) – Virtual courses are now available to improve access to training for volunteer firefighters.

For the first time, online learning is being offered in combination with in-person practical sessions, giving candidates better access to fulfilling the requirements to become a volunteer firefighter.

To become a certified firefighter in New Brunswick, volunteers must undergo more than 150 hours of training.

New Brunswick’s nearly 5,000 volunteer firefighters protect more than 90 per cent of the province’s area. They answered more than 20,000 calls in 2021, ranging from house fires and motor vehicle accidents, to wildfires and medical assistance. These volunteers provide an essential service to residents.

“All volunteers play crucial roles throughout New Brunswick, but few of those positions require the kind of commitment required by volunteer firefighters,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Hugh J. Flemming. “They do not get to choose their hours, or how often or how long they are needed. We are incredibly fortunate they have taken up this calling.”

“Every time a firefighter gets a call, they are going to somebody’s worst day,” said provincial fire marshal Michael Lewis. “Our volunteers stop what they are doing and rush to help those who need it most in their communities. They use their skills to save, protect and help, and for many it becomes a lifelong passion. Becoming a volunteer firefighter can be a life-changing experience.”

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter should contact their local fire department.