The pandemic hit right in the middle of their training – but now, Thorolds latest group of volunteer firefighters are ready to serve the community after completing the course.
One of them is Lucas Sabirsh.
He graduated with the Ted Lucas-award for overall best performance during his training – commemorated by Thorold fire chief Terry Dixon.
The 26-year-old is originally from a town 45 minutes east of Regina, Saskatchewan, but moved to Ontario in 2016 with his wife and has since been pursuing his dream of becoming a full time firefighter after completing a course in firefighting at Barries Georgian College.
“There are so many different aspects. You are out in the community helping people on their worst day. It is an incredible feeling to be able to help people out when they have nowhere else to turn. But there is also a lot of non-emergency work like interacting with the communtiy and doing activities for charity. Even showing kids your equipment, it makes their day!” said the prize recipient to Thorold News.
There is also a family tradition, that led Sabirsh to study firefighting at Georgian College in Barrie before making the move to Thorold South, where he was working full-time alongside his volunteer training when COVID-19 hit.
“My dad has been in the fire service for over 20 years, and I kind of grew up around the fire hall and developed a passion for it. Seeing him go out in the middle of the night or on birthdays, holidays, weekends. There's nothing like it and there was definetly a draw to it.”
The field is heavily competitive with thousands of applicants for a handful of jobs.
But that won't stop Sabirsh, who is currently waiting to return back to his day job after being laid off due to the pandemic.
Now he's just waiting for his first call.
"I am going to keep working towards my goals and be the best I can to Thorold and the community," said Sabirsh.