VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

More than two and a half centuries ago, Benjamin Franklin wrote as essay titled: “Brave Men at Fires”. This is what he said: “Neither cold, nor darkness will deter good people from hastening to the dreadful place to quench the flame. They do it not for the sake of reward or fame; but they have a reward in themselves, and they love one another”.

The man who established the first volunteer fire department also invented bifocals, wrote and printed “Poor Richards Almanac”, studied electricity and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. His name was Benjamin Franklin. After an extensive fire in Philadelphia in 1736, Franklin created a fire brigade called The Union Fire Company with 30 volunteers. Some famous Americans who served as volunteer firefighters were: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Barry, Aaron Burr, Benedict Arnold, James Buchanan and Millard Fillmore.

Why do we need volunteers?

Stevens County Fire Protection District #1 is a combination fire district. We provide 24/7 emergency services with career staff that work Monday through Saturday from 6am-6 pm when most of our volunteers are not available. Volunteer staff covers weekends, evenings and holidays as well as supplement staff during weekdays.

What does it take to become a volunteer firefighter?

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, in good physical condition, have a valid driver’s license and be free of any serious criminal convictions. The application process is pretty straightforward. After submitting the basic application the fire district must complete a criminal background and driver’s license check on all applicants. A physical examination is then scheduled. After those results come back a physical agility test must be completed. Finally, an oral interview is scheduled with the Fire Chief. If all phases are passed the Board of Fire Commissioners confirms the applicant and they are ready to begin training.

What are the benefits of being a volunteer firefighter?

Besides having the satisfaction of serving your community (and being in some very exclusive company) the Fire District provides all safety equipment and required training. Volunteers receive a reimbursement stipend twice a year, based on the number of trainings and responses during that time period. The District also provides disability insurance, a uniform allowance and the opportunity to participate in a retirement program.

What type of training will a new volunteer receive?

Volunteers must attend a recruit fire academy in order to satisfy Washington State Law. The academy lasts six weeks and is conducted in Spokane. The applicant  must attend EMT school. This a 120 hour class is also taught in Spokane and is scheduled on evenings and weekends. Fire District 1 pays for all District mandated training.

What kind of commitment is required of volunteers once they complete required training?

After completion of the recruit academy and EMT class, the recruit must complete a one year probationary period. During this time period they must attend regular weekly training drills at their assigned fire station and respond to a minimum number of calls per quarter. Ongoing training includes driver training and fire pump operations, EMS drills and many other required topics.

What are the benefits of being a volunteer firefighter?

Besides having the satisfaction of serving your community (and being in some very exclusive company) the fire district provides all safety equipment and required training. Volunteers receive a reimbursement stipend twice a year, based on the number of trainings and responses during that time period. The district also provides disability insurance, a uniform allowance and the opportunity to participate in a retirement program.

The Fire District accepts applications for new volunteers twice a year to coincide with the training academies. If you think you might be interested in serving or have additional questions, please call our district office @ 509-262-9660.

Times have changed since old Ben was at the helm; what hasn’t changed is the dedication of those who serve our community protecting lives and property. Please be sure and thank a volunteer the next time they help you. We could not operate without them.

Chief Bucy

Volunteer Application