Greetings Prospective Applicants,

Before submitting the complete application you will need to review and acknowledge that you completely understand the level of commitment you are undertaking and the responsibility it will entail. Being a volunteer in the Fire & Rescue Service is not for everyone. What we do has nothing to do with Chicago Fire, Sirens, ER, or any of a myriad of TV shows that purport to show the real thing. The minimum commitment required by most departments is 3-4 years. You can expect the first 12-16 months to involve training, riding apparatus, and practicing what you have learned in classes at your station. Once you are trained and can meet minimum staffing, your commitment drops to 8-12 hours a week. Below is a monthly matrix of what you can expect your schedule to look like during training.

The application should take no more than 60 minutes to complete and will not be
forwarded to the recruiter until all sections are complete. Once completed and reviewed by the recruitment office, it will be sent to a department that is compatible with you based on work or home location or based on department need. You will receive an email from a department inviting you to an orientation session or interview. Please make sure that you ask for a ride-along when you attend this session. Failure to attend a scheduled orientation session, barring extreme circumstances, is immediate cause for not moving forward in the membership process. If you cannot attend a session as scheduled, it is incumbent upon you to contact the department and reschedule.

After you attend an orientation session and are satisfied that this is a commitment you can undertake, you must notify the department of your intent to join. Once this is done, they will bring you in for an interview; if both parties find the relationship satisfactory, you will be voted in. Once you are a member of the department, you need to undergo a background investigation as well as a complete physical, both paid for by the county. The physical will determine whether you can volunteer as an EMT only or as a Firefighter/EMT. Administrative volunteers do not require a physical but do require a background investigation. There are many classes for Firefighters and EMTs to complete, which involves the following for most departments:

Volunteer Basic Orientation Class. “VBOC”: 8 Friday Evenings from 6:30 to 10:30 PM, dinner is provided. Two Sunday days from 8 AM to 4:00 PM, Three Wednesdays from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM and two Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This academy teaches the basic orientation to the fire service, including the Incident Command Structure, various online classes, and proper use of protective equipment as well as other functions of the fire and emergency service department.

EMT Class: In the spring and fall the class meets two nights a week and one-day every-other weekend for 5 months. You can select a Monday-Wednesday, every other Saturday, or a Tuesday-Thursday, every other Sunday schedule. There is also a 6 week-long summer class that runs Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This class generally appeals to high school and college students but is open to anyone who is able to meet the schedule.

Hazmat Defensive Operations: This is a 24-hour class that teaches how to conduct
defensive hazardous material operations and utilize safe operations and protective
measures to protect yourself and the community. It is typically three evenings and two Saturdays and is offered as part of VBOC.

Firefighter 1 & 2 Class: This follows the same schedule as EMT, but is held every weekend for 4 months.

The above schedule does not include the amount of time that you are required to spend at your department so that skills can be practiced and mastered, which can be an additional 5-8 hours a week. In the first year of membership, it is not uncommon to spend 20 hours or more some weeks in fire department related training and duty hours.  The good news is that after you are trained and certified to serve as minimum staffing, the time commitment is greatly reduced, However……………………………………………….

Please keep in mind that a Volunteer Fire Department is a living breathing entity which operates as a business. As such, it needs commitments from members to help run various components of the department such as fundraising, assistance with recruitment, bookkeeping, public safety events and community events. You will be called on to assist with these as well as serve your required duty time. Below is a composite of what the training schedule entails in the first year.

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 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
VBOC - 9 Weeks3 Nights
7pm to 10pm
8 Nights
6:30pm to 10:30pm
2 Days
8am to 4pm
2 Days
8am to 4pm
HazMat Ops - 4 Weeks3 Evenings
7pm to 10pm
2 Days
8am to 4pm
EMT Class Spring / Fall, Schedule 1 -
5 Months
7pm to 10pm7pm to 10pm8am to 4pm
EMT Class Spring / Fall, Schedule 2 -
5 Months
7pm to 10pm7pm to 10pm8am to 4pm
EMT School Summer Session
(Full Time) - 6 Weeks
8am to 4pm8am to 4pm8am to 4pm8am to 4pm8am to 4pm
Firefighter I & II Alternating Schedule Spring / Fall - 4 MonthsSame as EMT ScheduleSame as EMT ScheduleSame as EMT ScheduleSame as EMT ScheduleSame as EMT ScheduleSame as EMT ScheduleSame as EMT Schedule

READY TO APPLY? CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED