Ready to become a volunteer firefighter?

By LAURIE STUART
Posted 4/27/22

Before diving into an intensive training program with your local fire department, it’s important you’re sure about becoming a volunteer firefighter. To better understand if becoming a …

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Ready to become a volunteer firefighter?

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Before diving into an intensive training program with your local fire department, it’s important you’re sure about becoming a volunteer firefighter. To better understand if becoming a volunteer firefighter is for you, ask yourself the questions below.  

Are you willing to give up the occasional full night of rest to help others?

Do you find it important to give back to the community in meaningful ways?

Do you feel your mental health is robust and that you can perform responsibilities without experiencing undue stress and/or anxiety?

Are you looking for a community of others who enjoy helping people in times of fear or loss?

Do you meet all of the general and specific requirements for becoming a volunteer firefighter?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you may be an excellent fit for being a volunteer firefighter.

The next step:

Contact your local fire department

One of the first – and most important – things you learn about being a volunteer firefighter is that you can’t go it alone. Researching what volunteering entails and how you can get started is a great place to begin, but getting in touch with your local fire department is the best way to find out all the specifics. Try speaking with the fire chief and find out what it means to be a member of the department. Some of the questions you may want to ask include:

Are there residency restrictions?

What’s involved in the screening process?

How many hours do volunteers work?

Does the department provide fire safety equipment or do I?

Get involved

There will always be a need for people who care, who help, who heal. As new tragedies shake us and new problems challenge us, we do more than fight fires and staff ambulances.

Volunteer firefighters and emergency service personnel are trained and equipped professionally to serve and protect their communities with pride. From the birth of a nation to modern days, the volunteer emergency service personnel has been at its best when times are at their worst.

When you join a volunteer firefighting or emergency service family, you honor a great tradition of stepping up whenever and wherever help is needed while also improving yourself.

We teach

When you join a volunteer fire service or ambulance corps, you learn to use the most advanced technology and tools available to protect and serve your community.

We train

Ordinary men and women are trained to do extraordinary things when they join the volunteer fire service and ambulance corps. All at no charge.

We serve together

Teamwork is at the center of all this training and equipment. The brother- and sisterhood of the emergency services share the same basic training and rewarding experience in addition to the personal rewards of life-changing growth that you can only find in volunteering to provide emergency services.

In addition to the personal rewards of special service to the community, volunteers enjoy several tangible benefits.

  • FREE TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT
  • FREE HEALTH CHECKUPS
  • SCHOLARSHIPS
  • TAX BREAKS
  • INSURANCE COVERAGE

Duties of a volunteer firefighter

The duties of a volunteer firefighter span beyond putting out fires. Volunteer firefighters perform a multitude of important tasks to keep others safe, maintain their equipment and ensure the department can continue serving their community. Some of the most common duties at listed below.

Fire emergencies

Volunteer firefighters train and respond to fire outbreaks in the same way as paid firefighters. Some responsibilities include setting up ladders, connecting hoses to hydrants, fire suppression, and using methods to prevent fire spread. After responding to an emergency or incident, volunteer firefighters must prepare the engine for its next call and create an official report about the incident to file with the state.

Emergency medical services

Volunteer firefighters often administer first aid or CPR to individuals hurt in fire, accidents, or other types of emergencies, and transfer that duty to EMS personnel when they arrive on the scene. All volunteers receive training on basic life-support methods.

Search and rescue

When an individual or group of people go missing or are in imminent danger, volunteers may participate in search and rescue efforts. These may take place in bodies of water, remote spaces, mountainous areas, or even urban settings. Volunteers work in teams to cover larger areas of ground in shorter amounts of time.

Scene safety

After the outbreak of a fire or in the aftermath of a large wreck, volunteer firefighters who have been trained in fire police  help reroute traffic, set up barriers to maintain a reasonable flow of traffic around the scene.

Training

When not responding to an emergency, volunteer firefighters train weekly at their department. Training might include equipment repair,  vehicle and gear inspections and firematic skills, such as establishing a water supply and laddering a building, as well as fire suppression.

Fundraising

Fundraising represents a vital component of any fire department, and volunteer firefighters often take part in initiatives to bring money in. Activities they may participate in include barbecues, breakfasts, dinners, raffles and other events. They may also work in an administrative capacity to apply for grants.

Call to find out how you can help today!

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