Firefighting is Not for Everyone - but Volunteering Can Be
There's plenty of opportunity to serve your community through the volunteer fire service - and much of it has nothing to do with firefighting.
Fire and emergency services are one of the most diverse and challenging professions today. It is this diversity that inspires most men and women to enter the fire service. Imagine having to train to prepare yourself to cope with situations that range from building fires to childbirth to hazardous chemical spills to heart attacks, and almost any imaginable emergency situation in between.
This business is not for everyone. You need more than just a desire to help people. You need courage and dedication, assertiveness, and a willingness to learn new skills and face new challenges. And you need to have the time, for training sessions, meetings, emergency responses and other duties. The fire and rescue service is not for the meek or timid or for those who lose control during times of crisis.
The personal rewards and satisfaction received from the volunteer emergency services are often beyond description. There is a sense of accomplishment after controlling a building fire, joy and elation when a child is born, compassion for accident victims, and fulfillment in teaching fire safety.
If you're looking for a change of pace or excitement in your life - the world of emergency services is for you. If this action packed lifestyle doesn't appeal to you for whatever reason - have no fear - there's plenty of other opportunity to be involved in the business of emergency services that doesn't involve eating smoke or even seeing blood.
Many fire departments offer alternative forms of membership that may limit the scope of your firefighting or EMS participation - or may allow you to serve as a corporate, auxiliary or administrative member of the team. By you taking on one of these non-emergency related tasks - you help alleviate the added burden probably carried by existing members performing both line operations and business functions within the department. There's plenty to do in running the business of emergency services from accounting to fund-raising, grant writing, board management, public relations, record keeping, technology and marketing to name just a few.
Volunteer fire companies are equal opportunity "employers." They don't discriminate against sex, race or creed and there are positions available for people age 18 and up.
Whether its raising a ladder to a window or raising funds for more equipment - there's a place for virtually everyone in the volunteer fire service. Not just anyone - but maybe you.
If you're tough enough, if you're smart enough, if you care enough to volunteer today.