Being a volunteer is a very rewarding experience and a great way to serve your community. Over 1 million Idaho residents live in an area supported by volunteer or combination fire departments. These departments rely on volunteers to protect their communities. Without volunteers, these residents and property are at risk. There are over 5,000 volunteer emergency responders in Idaho, but we need more volunteers to adequately protect our state and its citizens.
While volunteer firefighting is an unpaid position, some departments may provide stipends or reimburse volunteers for certain expenses. Typically, departments pay for training and firefighting equipment.
The time commitment involved in volunteering 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. The commitment will vary by department. 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.
Departments and local government establish their own guidelines for selecting volunteers. Most applicants are required to:
- 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
Do you have what it takes?
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