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Meet Kindersley Firefighter Mitch Hope

I first joined the Kindersley Fire Department in 2003 at the age of 16, and was able to train in full capacity and attended calls but under a few guidelines. For example, I was not allowed to wear and SCBA on a fire scene until I was 18, this was to keep me in the “outer circle” or a less dangerous place. I left the Kindersley Fire Department in 2010 in which time I spent some time on the Martensville Fire Department.

In 2016 I moved back to Kindersley to work for SaskTel as a Facilities Technician. My two daughters and I try to stay busy and involved in the community, both of my girls can often be seen helping me run errands or preparing for fire department related things. The fire service for me, and my daughters, is a way of life, it’s what I grew up knowing. Without the support of my family and friends, I wouldn’t be able to be a working single dad and firefighter. I can’t ever say thank you enough to these people, especially Grandma S.

My dad raised both my brother and me by himself while finding time to be a firefighter. My dad is now coming up on 40 years’ service, and my little brother has close to 10 years with various fire departments. Growing up in a fire family you live a little different, it becomes your way of life, it’s a lifestyle that’s hard to describe unless you experience it yourself.

I have so many memorable moments with the service, one that always makes me laugh is when our senior pump operator opened the wrong discharge while we were pump testing and he ended up summer salting across a parking lot, at first we were all concerned until he got up soaking wet and laughing. I also love raising awareness through Public Education, especially when we get to meet young kids for the first time. They often come into our hall scared and shy of firefighters and the gear, but before they leave they’re giving us high fives and asking when they can come back! This is always a BIG win for us, we NEED people to feel safe around us and not be fearful of us, especially in our gear!

Recruitment and retention are some of the biggest challenges volunteer fire departments face, a lot of places of employment will not allow employees to leave work and of course, there are times when being in the fire service can be the most demanding thing you have ever done. After a call, it’s important to get back into your “normal” routine. A bad call can wreak havoc on your mental well-being, but it’s the positive outcomes that make us go out again and again. The fire family and support teams we have here in town have always been supportive, and we can’t thank them enough.

Since I first joined the department, my aim has always been to continue improving my skills. In 2006 I completed both my operations and awareness for NFPA 472, which is the professional competence of responders to hazardous materials, and in 2007 completed my level 2 NFPA 1001 professional firefighter qualifications. In 2010 I completed my Red Seal Electrician papers and spent a few years leading electrical crews around the Saskatoon area while working with the Martinsville Fire Department.

Earlier this year I finished my NFPA 1041 which is Fire Service instructor Level 1. I also have passed Farm Rescue, Grain Rescue, Heavy Rescue, Ice Water Rescue, Low and High Angle Rope Rescue, Wildland Fire Fighting Incident command systems 100 and Incident Command 200 (ICS 200), plus others.

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