Thinking of Joining a Volunteer Fire Department? What Erich Squire Wants You To Know

If you’re ready to give back to your community as a volunteer firefighter, you’ll likely wonder what to expect as you begin your new volunteer career.

Thinking of Joining a Volunteer Fire Department

Here, Erich Squire shares what you need to know before you commit to keeping your community safe.


If you’re volunteering as a firefighter and not doing the job full-time, you’ll need a full-time job to pay your bills. This often means that scheduling can be tough. You’ll want to talk to your fire department about volunteering requirements.

Many have a minimum of a few hours a week that volunteers must be able to commit to getting started as a firefighter. You’ll also have required training that you’ll need to go through before your first day on the job, according to Erich Squire.

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To qualify for the training process, you’ll likely be required to have finished high school, pass a background check, be at least 18 years of age, and have a valid driver’s license.

You’ll likely also need to go through an interview that allows the fire department to determine whether you’re a good fit for the job.

It doesn’t matter how much you know about firefighting right now–you’ll get all the information you need through your fire house’s training program.

You’ll learn the best methods for rescuing people from burning buildings, what you need to know when walking into a burning building with stairs, and how to control outdoor fires.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the training process–thinking through the scenarios you’ll face when you’re on the job can help you ask the questions that will give you the confidence you need while you’re working.

As a firefighter, you must stay on top of developments in fire safety over time. Your fire department may offer continuing education training that allows you to keep learning the latest, safest methods you need to do your job as safely as possible.

Responding to Calls

As a volunteer firefighter, you’ll likely respond to calls from home. While you may be used to seeing firefighters sleep at the fire station in movies, it doesn’t usually work this way for volunteers.

You’ll get paged or called when needed, and you won’t usually have to go into the firehouse unless there’s a problem, says Erich Squire.

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How To Get Started

Each area has different rules when it comes to volunteer firefighting, so you’ll want to talk with your local fire department to learn exactly what you need to know about getting started.

You may need to have a state certification, or you may need to go through an in-house training program that prepares you to keep your community safe.

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