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What Becoming a Volunteer Firefighter Can Offer YOU?

The fire service has a lot to offer someone who wants to excel in their career and earn more income. As an employer, we look for people who can solve problems, add value, and see things from a higher level of understanding. We also want our employees to have the courage to make decisions independently and not be afraid to try things they have not tried before. However, those types of employees are hard to find. Many are comfortable doing only what is expected of them and punching the time clock. If you’re looking for an opportunity to enhance your skills at no out-of-pocket cost, becoming a volunteer firefighter in your community can help.

First, let's define a “volunteer firefighter” as the details within the title have changed drastically over the years. When you see a large incident on the news involving the fire service, most people simply assume the people in uniform are full-time firefighters. On the contrary, there is a high probability they are volunteers. Each of them has a full-time job or manages their home, balancing soccer, karate, dance team, and football in between. Most communities within the United States use volunteer firefighters to mitigate their emergencies. They have become the Swiss Army Knife of the community, responding to various emergencies, from fire incidents to medical calls. They also save our nation billions of dollars in personnel costs. Without them, we see a lot of devastation and loss.

The definition of “volunteer” is “a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task (Oxford, 2021).” It does not mean they do it without any remuneration. In fact, more communities now pay their firefighters something for being part of their team. Aside from pay, there is much more to gain from becoming a volunteer firefighter in your area. As I look back on a highly active career in the fire service for over thirty-two years, I cannot tell you how many times the fire service helped me grow and gain trust. Let us define some of the main ways to help you become a firefighter.

When you apply to become a firefighter, it is likely with one of the most trusted public agencies within the community. To join their team, they put you through a process of interviewing and testing that can add value to your resume. Seeing you have been through that process gives employers comfort in knowing you have a good background and a mind to serve. You will gain experience in front of the board of interviewers who will ask you questions to learn more about you. That will require you to prepare to speak in front of a group and think logically to answer the questions. They may take you through a series of tests to check yo