Whether you volunteer to fight fires or provide emergency medical services, you will be making a commitment of time—usually about seven or eight hours a week. In addition to going out on calls, you will spend time training, attending meetings, maintaining the equipment, and a variety of other duties. Of course, there is no limit to how much time you are willing to give.
There are many other ways to volunteer as well. Administrators, dispatchers, fire police who direct traffic, service personnel to provide comfort and support at the scene—these are just a few of the many opportunities that exist for adult volunteers of any age.
Volunteering requires you to devote time to learning and maintaining skills. All your training will be provided and, once your training is complete, you will be expertly prepared to respond professionally as part of your community’s first line of defense in time of crisis.
Committing time to training and service, and being ready to respond immediately when an emergency occurs, will necessarily affect the members of your immediate family as well. In addition to being proud of your decision, they should also understand their own role as the spouse, child, parent, or sibling of a volunteer. Family always comes first, and their support and cooperation will materially affect your ability to be an effective volunteer.
To learn more about what it means to volunteer in your own community, speak with the recruitment coordinator at your local fire department or EMS unit. For helpful information regarding the respective roles of family members, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has produced a 28-page booklet that you may find helpful. Download your copy of What to Expect: A Guide for Family Members of Volunteer Firefighters
Watch these videos to see why joining the volunteer services is one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.