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FirefightersFrequently Asked Questions:

What is involved in becomming a Volunteer Firefighter/Medic?

 

 

 

1.) How much time does it require of me to participate?

Initially, you will have to attend basic taining classes in order to be useful to your community and learn about safety.  These classes are held at night and on weekends.  In Escambia County, the basic class is 40 hours and meets twice a week.  You will be tested to ensure that you have this basic knowledge.  All course material is provided.  

Once trained, you are "on call" when you are home.  Most departments use pagers or scanners to alert members of an emergency.  

 

2.) What if I am home and an emergency call happens, but I can't go?

No problem.  You are not required to attend every call.  All departments believe that families and jobs come first.  Some departments have minimum requirements for attendence in order to stay on as an "active" member and vote on department issues.  This requirement is usually in the 20-25% range of all calls.  But all departments are glad to have your help and if you made one call per week, it would contribute 52 calls per year to the comminity. 

 

3.) I am interested in helping people as an EMT or Medic, but not in Firefighting.  Can I join?

Yes.  Most departments will accept members to do whatever you desire to do.  Many people like firefighting and not medical calls while others prefer medical calls to putting out fires.  Talk to your local fire department.  

 

4.) What are the physical requirements?

The basic firefighter course has basic physical requirements.  Most adults have no problems finishing the course even if you are a couch potato.  If  you have any medical problems, or problems walking up five or six flights of stairs even taking breaks, then you should talk to your local department.

 

5.) I just don't want to fight fires, go to auto accidents or make medical calls.  Is there anything I can do?

Yes.  There are many administrative jobs that need to be done.  Even if you're a senior citizen and can get around on your own, there may be a job for you.

 

6.) Can I get hurt doing this?

You can get hurt taking a shower, walking across your yard, or sitting perfectly still in a chair.  Today, volunteer firefighters come under many of the safety standards that apply to all jobs.  In most cases, persons injured while performing volunteer duties are either untrained or not being careful.  Although you can get hurt doing this or any other physical activity, departments are very safe and provide insurance for members.

 

7.) How far can I progress in a fire department?

Firefighters usually progress to "Engineer" or "Operator" and learn to drive the fire trucks.  From there, they can progress into being a fire officer.   First Responders may progress into EMT training.   Administrative members can hold office in the department in many administrative positions.  Fire departments need photographers and teachers.

 

Finally....

Don't put it off.  Go down to or call your local fire department today.  Make it a goal.  Your community and family needs you.