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)