Iselin Fire Department

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10 Reasons to Become a Volunteer Firefighter
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By Commissioner Steven Freeman
December 1, 2022

These are some of the benefits of becoming a volunteer firefighter:

1. To help others
The primary job of firefighters is to keep people in emergency situations safe. This often includes rescuing them or their property from fires, conducting emergency medical procedures and providing support in search and rescue operations. Fire departments may also help their communities through educational and charity events. This gives volunteer firefighters the opportunity to be a positive influence in their communities.

2. To meet people in your community
Fire departments are often community-oriented and primarily recruit staff members from their local area. This gives firefighters the opportunity to get to know their neighbors in the workplace. These interactions can help build stronger communities and work relationships. Getting a job as a volunteer firefighter may be especially helpful for people who are moving into a new locality and want to meet members of their community.

3. To stay in shape
Firefighting is a job that can be very physically demanding. Firefighters often operate heavy machinery, carry water and transport injured emergency victims. Fire departments often have strict fitness requirements for their employees and firefighters exercise regularly to prepare themselves for emergency situations. Finding a position as a volunteer firefighter may give you a good reason to increase and maintain your physical fitness.

4. To prepare for a full-time position
In many areas, there are more firefighter candidates than open jobs. If you want to become a full-time firefighter but can't find open positions, you can consider temporarily working as a volunteer firefighter. This experience can teach you many important firefighting skills, increase your fitness and build your resume for future applications. Working as a volunteer firefighter can also allow you to meet other professionals in the field who may be able to help you find jobs or provide references.

5. To work after retirement
Volunteer firefighters work part-time and often have a lot of flexibility in their schedule. This can make it an ideal job for retirees who want to continue working or who want to serve their communities. It can also be a good way to maintain your fitness or learn valuable new skills after leaving the workforce.

6. To find purpose
Volunteer firefighters often have the opportunity to help people during the most challenging parts of their lives. They may help preserve houses and property or even save lives in emergency situations. This makes firefighting a very meaningful job for many emergency professionals. If you are looking for a job that can give you purpose, it might be helpful to consider a job as a volunteer firefighter.

7. To learn new skills
Volunteer firefighters go through an extensive training course just like full-time firefighters. This training prepares them to complete a wide variety of tasks in emergency situations. Many of these skills are very valuable and have many applications outside of emergency services. Some of the skills you might learn when training to become a volunteer firefighter include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, emergency injury treatment, driving skills, teamwork and leadership.

8. To receive benefits
While volunteer firefighters don't receive regular salaries like full-time firefighters, many departments provide their volunteers with different types of compensation. Some fire departments provide reimbursement for transportation costs and some reimburse volunteers for their training. Other departments may give bonuses for responding to calls or attending trainings.

9. To have flexibility
Volunteer firefighter positions often offer community members the opportunity to help their communities while maintaining a flexible schedule. While most volunteer positions require firefighters to attend regular trainings, they rarely require set hours or schedules. This can make volunteer firefighting an ideal side job for parents or for people who work other jobs.

10. To build camaraderie
Firefighters have a unique and challenging job and train hard to earn their positions. This often creates a sense of camaraderie among firefighters and other emergency personnel. If you are looking for a work environment that provides strong friendships, it may be beneficial to pursue a volunteer firefighter position at your local fire department.


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Iselin Fire Department
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