CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING AS A
FIREFIGHTER OR EMT
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)