Q: Who can be a member?
A: Anyone 16 years old (Junior Firefighter or Business Member), 18 years old (Active Firefighter or Fire Police). Firefighters and Fire Police need to have generally good health, and must be capable of withstanding the stresses inherent in the course of their duties. Business Members have no restrictions, as they operate to support the firefighters both in the business affairs of the Department and at times with water/food support during extended fire calls.
Q: What is involved in being a member? (list for junior, firefighter, business)
A: Firefighters actively train to manage fire and rescue situations and execute the Departments’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) during fire calls.
Q: How do fire calls work?
A: Each member is issued a pager which alerts the member when the Department is dispatched by the 911 center. Members drive to the fire station, don their protective clothing, board the fire apparatus, and drive to the scene. In practice, this is a classic “first come, first served” volunteer situation, where the first members to arrive at the station make up a crew and go on ahead. Other arriving make up additional crews and operate other apparatus as called for by the SOPs or the Officer In Command.
Our neighboring fire departments have agreed on a set of mutual aid guidelines as a group, which usually results in two or more fire departments being called for the same event. The first unit or officer on the scene will usually make a determination of whether additional units are required, and will return un-needed apparatus and personnel to their stations.
Q: How often is a member required to attend fires, practice drills, and meetings?
A: Members are required to attend at least four activities per month, where an activity might be a fire call, a training or membership meeting, or a support activity such as station cleanup days, open houses, classes etc.
Q: Is there a cost to become a member?
A: No! Your time and effort is all that is requested!
Q: What training is involved and who pays for it?
A: The Department pays for all courses, and encourages members to advance in their knowledge and skills by hosting classes when possible, and by encouraging class participation.
The Department currently requires that certain courses must be completed in order to become a full member. All members must complete certain federally and department-required courses which vary in scope from 16 hours of hands-on training to a simple on-line course:
• AED/CPR/First Aid
• Hazmat Operations
• NIMS 100
• NIMS 700
Firefighters also must pass: Essential of Firefighting, which is an extensive class involving classroom and hands-on training at a County Fire Academy. Members are encouraged to take courses in Basic Vehicle Rescue and become a First Responder (or EMT), and to gain Fire Fighter 1 state certification.
Fire Police also must pass: Essentials of Fire Police. Members are encouraged to take additional courses relating to traffic and scene management, legal issues, etc.
There are literally hundreds of course available for members to take, and the department encourages all members to update their skills and knowledge.