Town of Chilmark, MA
PO Box 119, 401 Middle Road, Chilmark, MA 02535-0119
Additional Detail

What to Expect 

As a volunteer firefighter/EMT, you can expect to: 
• Attend weekly and/or monthly meetings and training sessions. 
• Participate in regular duty shifts. Hours vary by department. 
• Perform physically demanding work. 
• Spend extended periods of time outside in inclement weather. 
• Be called out at any hour of the day or night. 

Although local governments and departments establish different selection criteria, many departments require that volunteers: 
• Be at least 18 years of age 
• Have a valid driver’s license 
• Be healthy and in good physical condition 
• Complete basic fire & EMS training 
• Live in close proximity to the fire district 
• Have a clean criminal record 
• Meet the minimum ongoing training requirements 
• Respond to a certain percentage of calls 

Time requirements vary by department. Time commitment will depend on several factors, such as the number of calls the department receives, training requirements, shift versus on-call structure, and community activities in which the department requires volunteers to participate. Volunteer departments prefer that volunteers have the ability to respond to calls 24 hours a day, although most departments still accept volunteers who are unable to leave work or other obligations to respond to a call. 

Typically, departments pay for training and firefighting equipment. Volunteer firefighting is an unpaid position; however, some departments may provide stipends or reimburse volunteers for certain expenses. 

Courtesy of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and Idaho Volunteer Fire & Emergency Services Association (IVFESA)