The NCFPD sponsors a Volunteer Fire Academy from time to time in order to provide a pool of qualified candidates to apply for vacancies on the full-time professional staff as they arise. These volunteer firefighters are trained to work under the supervision of the District’s professional firefighters and paramedics; thus, gaining invaluable experience in the art and science of firefighting and emergency medicine, according to Division Chief Keith McReynolds.
Thirteen individuals were recently recruited and sworn in during a Board of Director’s meeting earlier this year.
Volunteer firefighters must be at least 18-years old; they must also be a certified “first responder” or EMT (Emergency Medical Technician).
Professional firefighters, on the other hand, must have completed the following:
- A 13 to 14-week basic fire academy,
- Paramedic training,
- Advanced technical rescue training,
- Advanced resuscitation training,
- Hazardous materials training,
- Trained in pre-hospital trauma life support,
- Pediatric advanced life support,
- Cardiac life support,
- Incident command management training.
Beyond that, many of the District’s professional firefighters hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in fire technology, emergency management, and/or fire administration. ALL of the NCFPD professional firefighters constantly hone their craft by training daily to improve their skill-set; in fact, all of the District’s professional firefighters receive at least 240 hours of training each year.
“A volunteer firefighting program is an excellent tool to help interested men and women to get into the firefighting profession,” Chief McReynolds concluded; “and it’s a great recruiting tool for the fire protection District.”