Becoming a volunteer Fire Fighter is a valuable way to give something back to your community. It is also a rewarding way positively to impact your community and ensure safety. In recent years, many have seen the significant value of Volunteer Fire Fighters as the nation has watched the epic forest fires that have consumed homes, towns, and communities. Having a well-trained resource to supplement Fire Fighters in those emergencies is very critical for states, cities, and rural communities.
In the everyday realm of things, Volunteer Fire Fighters help to ensure that Fire Departments are able to offer the most services to the communities in which they serve. According to Volunteer FD, there are a few basic steps that need to be taken care before you can become a Volunteer Fire Fighter.
- 110 Hour NFPA course that helps to certify that Fire Fighters have at least basic training. This is required even for those who volunteer their time.
- You will need to contact whichever department that you want to volunteer for and ask if they have any special needs or requirements. Many departments have a specific time of the year that they accept volunteers. (Local, City, County)
- If you would like to work for a Fire Service Agency, then you will need to call them and find out what is required of volunteers. (State, Regional)
The process may seem fairly simple, but there are other considerations. One of the considerations is the amount of time that you will need to invest in what is essentially a volunteer position. There are also classes that are offered through your states Department of the Fire Marshal. The California office of the State Fire Marshal offers a really well based resource site that can help you become familiar with current issues in fire fighting.
Community Education Classes
Some local community colleges also offer classes and certificate programs or degrees in fire fighting. Classes consist of basic elements and essential working knowledge of fire fighting. Some classes may also offer a ride-along experience as part of the education. Many state and local entities offer some form of Fire Fighting traingin, for instance in California, the OSFM offers a well respected course. Certain universities offer firefighter programs, once example at a community college is a program offered by Red Rocks Community College.
Other classes that are important core classes and will look good on your application are:
- Criminal Justice. Firefighters are called to crime scenes. Arson, murder, etc are an example of crime scene situation where it would be important that you recognize evidence.
- Psychology. Firefighters often deal with people who are in extreme psychological distress. Being able to manage these people is an asset.
- Ethics. Firefighters need to be exemplary in their behavior. Most fire departments require drug screening, and that may include testing for alcohol use.
- Communications. It is important that firefighters be able to speak well, and write well. Lives can depend on your ability to communicate well.
- Foreign Language. Speaking a foreign language is also an asset in an emergency.
- Emergency Medical Technician. Understanding medical treatment in extreme circumstance is very helpful.
There are many strong reasons to consider being a Volunteer Fire Fighter. Volunteer Fire Fighters have been a major part of the fire services that are offered by many communities and states for many years.
Volunteer Fire Fighting is a field where you continue to train and gain every advantage that you can over the natural force of fire. Advances in technology make this one of the most exciting volunteer jobs in the world. There is a lot of good that volunteer fireman provide to communities. Consider being a Volunteer Fire Fighter.