I still hold that municipalities should place a real dollar value on their fire protection — this puts us on par with police protection. Firefighter Become To Essay A Why Want You Do. For example, speak about your desire to help others and keep the community safe. The next article in this series will explore political obstacles, employee requirement and retention, and increasing call volumes, which tied for the third most prominent and influential challenges to combination departments. I you meet the requirements, contact your local fire department and let them know that you're interested in volunteering. Understanding What Motivates Volunteer Firefighters. Do not be overly dramatic or emotional in your response, although a bit of excitement it in line. I’m having a tough time putting it into words. A good firefighter possesses many valuable traits, including dedication, cooperation, flexibility, physical fitness, integrity and problem-solving skills. Your network grows even further when you attend events for the firefighting community, and in this day and age, the secret to success can be just as much about who you know tha… All that aside, Phil was probably right; I'm just hoping he's kind enough not to rub my nose in it. This country was founded on volunteers, it is a great thing to do for yourself and your community! Please reach out if I can provide any help or more information. Volunteer firefighters assist professional firefighters after being recruited and attaining at least 110 hours of training. As a member of this dedicated team, you will: It makes municipal leaders and the public know that firefighting is a highly skilled endeavor of vital importance to the community — not some hobby or social club. It was one of those stories where you sit in the parking lot and wait for it to finish. Volunteer Firefighter Requirements. If you want to be a volunteer firefighter, you have to meet a few minimum requirements first. Operation Legend Helps to Reduce Violent Crime in the US, Read about their biggest concerns, budget and funding limitations, statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) show the magnitude of this escalating problem, The NFPA estimates that in 2011 alone, the donated time and labor of volunteer firefighters saved American taxpayers $139.8 billion, Studies are proving that volunteer firefighters are not motivated by money, political obstacles, employee requirement and retention, and increasing call volumes, Women Firefighters: Delivering Strength Under Fire - In Public Safety, Understanding the Volunteer Deficit Will Lead to Better Recruitment and Retention Plans - In Public Safety, Understanding the Volunteer Deficit Will Lead to Better Recruitment and Retention - In Public Safety, Leadership and Budgeting Issues in Organizational Transition - In Public Safety, Social Media for Public Safety Professionals, Law, Terrorism and Homeland Security Blog, Do Not Sell My Personal Information - CA Residents Only, InPublicSafety.com is brought to you by American Military University, Online Degrees for Public Safety Professionals, Start Your Criminal Justice Degree with AMU. Lexipol. He maintains that money is not a motivator. However, the findings from my research found that 60 percent of chiefs now have major problems recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters. Becoming A Firefighter Essay 1084 Words | 5 Pages. Volunteer firefighters are seeking a meaningful and practical way to serve their neighbors. Why do you want to become a firefighter? You will still have to meet the basic requirements of being a firefighter, but won't be compensated for your efforts. FireRescue1 is revolutionizing the way the fire service community You've been successfully signed up for the Fire Chief Newsletter. (Read about their biggest concerns, budget and funding limitations). You are not paid because you are worthless, you are priceless. Haldimand County Emergency Services – Fire operates out of 11 stations strategically placed throughout the County. I want to become a Volunteer firefighter because I want to learn leadership skills and teamwork, also I consider that this is huge opportunity to help the community doing something exiting and always different and not routinary, and last but not least because pride is my pay ! We have all been there, your third cousins, you great aunt twice removed, and everyone else comes over for a family gathering. I've maintained that, given the economy and pressure on volunteers, it would take about $20 per hour to attract and keep good volunteers. From a candidate: I have thought long and hard about the answer to “why do you want to be a firefighter”. 1.You have an excuse to leave that awkward family party. Their service includes not only responding to emergency calls, but participating in community-oriented events such as chili-dinner fundraisers, public education events at schools, and more. Look for a box or option labeled “Home Page (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari)” or “On Startup (Chrome)”. They serve a very important role in society. To contact the author, please email IPSauthor@apus.edu. ‘Stop training firefighters like they’re becoming Marines’, Video: Argument between DC, county FFs at scene under investigation, Former NY FF wins deal on 'Shark Tank' for hose-inspired fitness tool, New floating fire station arrives in San Francisco, Individual Access - Free COVID-19 Courses, Open the tools menu in your browser. Then, the next time you apply, you'll have a better chance. You may withdraw your consent at any time. That's not a huge surprise; most volunteer firefighters I know would gladly do it for free and many do. Some fire departments, however, may also prefer applicants who graduated with a fire related bachelor’s degree. In the past, gaps in manpower were filled with volunteer firefighters who joined—and often remained for years—within the ranks. The bottom line is that you get out of your work whatever you put in. Volunteering as a firefighter can be a rewarding experience, and it may even prompt you to make a career change if you decide you love it! So there I sit, in my truck, in a restaurant parking lot stomach rumbling and rethinking my position. While serving as a firefighter, you get to do this. To receive more articles like this in your inbox, please sign up for In Public Safety’s bi-monthly newsletter. Strong desire to become civil servant where I can give back to co, Your email address will not be published. There was a story about altruism, sharing and basically, why we do what we do when it comes to volunteering. In the last three decades, the number of volunteer firefighters has fallen by 12 percent, according to the NFPA. While this may not seem like a disastrous figure at first glance, consider that the number of calls for service has increased by roughly 240 percent. Becoming a volunteer firefighter is arguably one of the most rewarding and fulfilling positions you can fill in your community. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. When you become a volunteer firefighter, you are doing one of the most selfless jobs. So what's the take away from this for volunteer fire departments struggling to attract and retain firefighters? Researchers and fire service leaders have worked tirelessly to better understand what’s causing the decline and to craft solutions to recruit more volunteers. Actually, this begins with an on-going conversation I've had with National Volunteer Fire Council President Phil Stittleburg on recruiting and retaining volunteers. This may be called “Tools” or use an icon like the cog. Why Do You Want to be a Firefighter? It will come as no surprise to members and chiefs of combination fire departments that the faltering volunteer firefighter system is one of the largest and most daunting issues in the fire service today. Below are some basic requirements that aspirants must fulfill to become a volunteer firefighter: The age of the aspirant must not be less than 18 years; The candidate should hold a high school diploma or equivalent Pass Minimum Requirements. [Related: Figuring out the Retention Puzzle]. Here’s what you need to know to become a volunteer firefighter. All rights reserved. One of the major initiatives has been to identify what motivates someone to become a volunteer firefighter. This is just a short illustration of what it takes to become a Churubusco Volunteer Firefighter. [Related: How Involving Families Can Help Recruit Volunteer Firefighters]. Copyright © 2020 As I see it, it is two fold. 2. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's of fine arts. Rick Markley is the former editor-in-chief of FireRescue1 and Fire Chief, a volunteer firefighter and fire investigator. Even if your dream job isn’t on a truck, your volunteer time can show other great qualities like dedication, leadership and altruism. The primary objective of fire departments is to help prevent the fire from taking lives and destroying property. This all begins earlier this week when I had the radio set to NPR while driving to dinner. Especially when it comes to saving their lives. If you decide to become an official firefighter and not just a volunteer, make sure that you were able to obtain at least a high school diploma. Lexipol. I may have been wrong about volunteer firefighters. I hope you found these steps helpful. So, what does an interviewer mean when he asks, “Why do you want to become a fire fighter?” There are a few things which an interviewer wishes to check when he asks such a question. It’s been found that volunteers are largely motivated by: Although there may be some overlap, the motivations of volunteer firefighters may differ from those of career firefighters. The story established that people will do things against their apparent best interest — that is, give something away that would help them, and it is often to strangers. The online Fire Science program teaches students the latest industry principles, theory, and best practices. Firefighting is risky business, requiring courage, the ability to quickly evaluate a situation and physical strength. The one that didn't pay, drew more blood. Reasons to Be a Firefighter. Becoming a volunteer firefighter requires extensive training, hard work and dedication to the community. It seems counter-intuitive, but the radio story seems to back that up. He can be reached at, Thanks! About the Author: Brad Davison is an engineer/paramedic in Indianola, Iowa. 1. This can be anything from preventing minor injuries, to preventing death. There’s truth to this beyond the tales of seasoned firefighters—statistics from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) show the magnitude of this escalating problem. This means both within the department and within the community. If some experience with firefighters or some article or story inspired you, relate it briefly. [Related: Catering to Millennials: Challenges in Recruiting Volunteers]. Required fields are marked *. All rights reserved. He has logged more than 15 years as an editor-in-chief and written numerous articles on firefighting. Online Degrees & Certificates For Fire Science Professionals. finds relevant news, identifies important training information, Please complete this form and we’ll contact you with more information about AMU. If you need further help setting your homepage, check your browser’s Help menu, Get real time threat detection and identification with MX908, Develop an effective process for responding to and resolving employee complaints, Interesting research looks at what motivates humans to do things against their best interest for the sake of strangers — like become volunteer firefighters. There are a few different ways you can do this. Give your honest reasons. It then explores several ways this happens and speculates on why. In my own experience, I offered to forego pay when applying to my department; they hired me and declined my offer, which I'm not grateful for both. We couldn't function as a society without firefighters. Contact Your Local Fire Department The first step of becoming a volunteer firefighter is to get in touch with your local fire department. If you're already doing this, it will make it easier for you to get hired as a firefighter, but if this is your career goal, you should want to be a salaried employee. Copyright © 2020 FireRescue1. The best reason to being a firefighter is to save lives. Some of the other reasons that I have heard often from candidates through the years, in no particular order, are: To learn new skills. Volunteer firefighters prevent and put out fires and administer first aid within their communities. If you really want to become a volunteer firefighter, apply at each of your local fire departments, work to improve yourself by emulating the qualities needed to be a great firefighter, learn new skills, and work to participate in your community in other ways. But don’t discredit a career job as a firefighter if you love being a being a volunteer, it’s twice the fun! interacts online and researches product purchases Although firefighters typically garner a comfortable living, a desire to help others is the primary reason most men and women become a firefighter. Realizing how to appeal directly to volunteers has proven to be a considerable challenge for many fire service leaders. First, paying volunteers may not be the answer to better recruitment. Many departments also require firefighters to become certified as EMTs. By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails, texts, and phone calls and messages from American Public University System, Inc. which includes American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), its affiliates, and representatives. Please refer to our privacy policy, terms, or contact us for more details. Firefighting is a career that can make you feel proud and accomplished, and it is a career in which I have a lot of respect for. Nevertheless, they are the only exception to what most fire departments want. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. AMU is the nation’s largest provider of online higher education to the U.S. military, and offers more than 190 degree and certificate programs including Homeland Security, Intelligence Studies, Emergency & Disaster Management, Criminal Justice, and more. There is nothing more rewarding than helping other people. The reasons why I want to become a firefighter are: I really like to help people- I work now as an EMT and I really enjoy somebody holding my hand and looking me in the eye and saying thank you. To become a volunteer firefighter, you'll need to be at least 18 years old, and you may need to have a high school diploma depending on the department. Well, maybe not completely wrong, but wrong enough to reconsider a strongly held belief. You can take up additional training if you want to stay updated with the latest technologies. I've read many of the reader comments that looked down upon taking money. It's the most comprehensive and trusted online destination for fire service professionals worldwide. Many fire service veterans blame this decline on changes to the volunteer firefighter system over the last 30 years, including the increase in training requirements, time demands, and call volume. This is one of the toughest questions to answer without sounding like a Clone. In order to be a firefighter you must be in shape, prepared, experienced, and ready to deal with your job emotionally as well as physically. You made a difference in my life. It takes a great deal of perseverance, persistence, dedication, and hard work to become a firefighter. Enter “https://www.firerescue1.com/” and click OK. I have thought long and hard about the answer to "why do you want to be a firefighter". In the world of fire and emergency operations, conditions change quickly as does the knowledge needed to lead the response. Almost everyone you volunteer with has other interests and likely another profession. Your email address will not be published. All rights reserved. In the fall of 2017, Brad completed his Master’s degree in Public Administration, with a concentration in Emergency Management from American Military University. Volunteer and paid-on-call (POC) firefighters have always been the foundation of the American fire service. Becoming a firefighter is not an easy task. The most common, also noble reason why many people apply to become a part of their fire department is their sense of servitude and responsibility to their community. To handle this increased call volume, the number of career firefighters has increased by 43 percent, but departments are still struggling to keep up with demands for service. Smaller communities, towns and cities rely on volunteer firefighters to respond quickly to emergencies, to perform firefighting duties and to provide assistance and support to career firefighters. Become a volunteer firefighter. These firefighters still comprise 70 percent of the firefighting force and protect 50 percent of the population. Another interesting finding had to do with people's reported levels of happiness after doing something for someone else, like donating money. You become a very important part of the community. I understand that this consent is not a condition of enrollment or purchase. Those who were publically recognized reported being happier than those who gave anonymously. What’s even more encouraging about it is that it requires little to no experience to get started. The theory went on to say that many of those people simply found other avenues to do good. In short, one blood bank paid people, the other didn't. It cited one experiment to test altruism among blood donors. Firefighters, however, run towards them. One theory for why this happened is that paying people stripped them of their need to do good — be altruistic. If you don’t live too far away from the station, you can make a quick visit in person. Some volunteers have zero desire to be a professional firefighter, and thats ok. [Related: Recruiting Female Firefighters: Striving to Close the Gender Gap in the Fire Service]. Select the option or tab named “Internet Options (Internet Explorer)”, “Options (Firefox)”, “Preferences (Safari)” or “Settings (Chrome)”. If you want to do something important for your community and are willing to take on a challenging opportunity, complete the below PDF application form to become a volunteer firefighter. Today, volunteers make up 55% of all active firefighters , making it a great first step on the ladder to becoming a paid firefighter. He serves on the board of directors of and is actively involved with the International Fire Relief Mission, a humanitarian aid organization that delivers unused fire and EMS equipment to firefighters in developing countries. The second is that if you want to keep volunteers motivated, be sure they are recognized for their commitment. Since recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters has posed a considerable challenge to the fire service over the past several decades, a significant amount of trade and scholarly research has focused on this topic. Business Continuity: Is Your Organization Prepared for Election-Related Unrest? Competition is fierce and the hiring process can be very grueling. Employers want to know that you prioritize these qualities. That equates to roughly 1 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Phil disagrees. When you are a firefighter you are a part of a team. While volunteer firefighters need no formal education past a high school diploma, holding an undergraduate degree in fire science or fire safety engineering may provide a better opportunity to becoming a paid firefighter. When you are a firefighter you never know what the next call will be. The NFPA estimates that in 2011 alone, the donated time and labor of volunteer firefighters saved American taxpayers $139.8 billion. The interview process. The number of volunteer firefighters has rapidly declined over the past several decades. Firefighter/Paramedic Gray Cable of Parris Island, SC, Fire and Rescue, believes that, "My career has become a thinking man's job. Example: "I believe that a firefighter's most important quality is dedication. When seeking a professional reference, a career recommendation, or even someone to help you out or share in your part-time hobby project, you’ll have plenty of people to turn to. All fields except phone are required. and suppliers. That's not a huge surprise; most volunteer firefighters I know would gladly do it for free and many do. If you want to become a volunteer firefighter, then follow these steps. According to a 2017 study I conducted as part of my Master’s Degree from American Military University, chiefs reported that volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention was the second biggest issue for their combination fire departments. It's a fairly easy, low-cost thing for most departments to do. Before you proceed, you should know that there are some reasons to not become a volunteer firefighter. A sustainable and realistic solution has yet to be identified. Students learn tactical operations, fire safety, firefighting leadership and management, and community fire outreach and response techniques. Beginning his career as a POC firefighter, Brad has a passion for combination fire departments. Volunteer firefighting is a great way to make strong connections. I'm having a tough time putting it into words. Copyright © 2020 By Brad Davison, alumnus, American Military University. Of those chiefs, 78 percent reported that it was either the first, second, or third most influential problem they faced. First, paying volunteers may not be the answer to better recruitment. Continued attention and research on volunteer firefighter retention and recruitment is therefore critical to the system’s survival. Recruiting and Hiring the Next Generation of Police Officers, Coronavirus Outbreaks, Overcrowding Leads to Rise in Prisoner Unrest, Gangs Have Set Their Sights on Human Trafficking Victims, Podcast: Challenges of Prosecuting Human Trafficking Cases in Florida, Top 5 Reasons Why Municipalities Should Take Payment in Cryptocurrency, COVID-19 Crisis Alters Legal Education, Admissions Process, Property Title Theft: Rare but Rising during COVID-19. 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