Highly-motivated preschooler becomes Island fire department’s youngest-ever recruit

April 17, 2022
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On Friday, March 25, when the Parksville Volunteer Fire Department (PVFD) accepted its newest recruit and youngest official junior member, Oliver Lipinski, smiles and laughter could be seen and heard all around at the fire hall.

According to a release issued by the PVFD on Monday, March 28, Lipinski’s recruitment started when his parents drove by the fire hall several weeks ago while the department’s recruitment campaign was underway.

When the youngster told his parents, Courtney and Chris, that he wanted to join the fire department, they helped him prepare a resume that detailed his education, experience and keen interest in firefighting.

With resume in hand and parents in tow, Lipinski knocked on the fire hall door on recruitment deadline day, dressed in full turnout gear.

“I want a job,” he said to Lt. Andrew Wiersma and provided his resume.

Fortunately, Lipinski was shortlisted and called in for an interview. He is knowledgeable about fire engines and trucks, can list most parts on a ladder fire truck, has a basic understanding of hydraulics, does not play with “magic” because it can start fires, and can recognize most letters and the sounds they make. He has also completed all episodes of “Fire Safety with Roy” and successfully completed volume one, firefighting colouring book.

During the interview, fire chief Marc Norris determined Lipinski would be an excellent fit for the department, since he lives within the Parksville Fire Protection Area and can name the department’s trucks, and that he qualified for the 2034 recruit class as a junior member.

You see, Lipinski is three, going on four, years old.

Following the successful completion of the interview process and as part of his orientation, Lipinski rode Ladder 49, his favourite truck, and toured the fire station. He was given a red helmet, teddy bear, cookie and presented with his certificate as an official junior member.

“We were thrilled to receive Oliver’s resume, conduct his interview, and we all look forward to welcoming him to the 2034 recruit class as a junior member,” said Norris.

Parksville Fire is a composite department with career firefighters and a complement of paid on-call firefighters. The department conducts an annual recruitment campaign in the spring.

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