If you’re interested in giving back to your community there’s no better way than as a volunteer firefighter. There’s no vocation with a purer purpose than that of a firefighter. However, this is also not something to be taken lightly. When lives are on the line there’s going to be a lot of training and commitment required before you can begin making a difference in your community. That said, if you have the time and the desire it’s something that is available for almost everybody if you can make it through training. Here we’ll look briefly at how to begin your foray into volunteer firefighting and some tips to help you out along the way.
It’s important to be serious about it if you are going to become a volunteer firefighter. Don’t waste time in training if you don’t think you have what it takes or you don’t have the time to do it. Expect hundreds of hours of training before you can even begin. That said, it will be rewarding in many ways (besides monetary) if you are able to complete your training and begin your volunteer firefighting career.
The basic training you receive will cover a number of different aspects of volunteer firefighting. Expect rigorous physical training (it would be a good idea to start getting in shape even before you start) as well as emergency medical and firefighting training. At the absolute minimum you will be required to complete a 110 hour National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) certified training course. Some departments may require more depending on the location and the tasks you’ll be required to do upon completing your training.
Where to Begin?
The easiest way to get started is to find the non-emergency phone number for your local fire department and give them a call. Express your interest in becoming a volunteer firefighter, if they will have positions available, and where you should begin. From there you’ll likely be called down to the station for a short briefing and interview and asked to fill out an application with some personal details about your health and experience. From there if you are accepted you will begin your training and be well on your way.