Im looking for information on the min requirements for volunteer fire fighters in California. But im also looking for information on what other departments requirements are. Any and all help will be appreciated. THANKS!!!!!!!
I was born and raised in Southern California (San Diego) and had never heard of a volunteer fire department until I was in the military and was serving in Pennsylvania. I am guessing in the very rural areas there must be some in California, but never ran across them in the southern part of the state.
As for Pennsylvania where I now reside, there are varying levels of requirements, for the most part the willingness to show up and work for no pay is at the top of the list, they will provide everything else you need to become a safe and fully qualified firefighter. I will be testing in the beginning of May for Firefighter 1 National Certification after completion of my essentials class.
Iowa requires that all structural firefighters complete at least FFI training. Our department is moving toward requiring actual national certification for FFI. For those who do driving and pumping, extrication, rehab, etc. Those individual have to show at least yearly training in those areas. Someone who does some of all of those (FFI, FFII, Driving, Extrication, etc.) must show updated training related to those positions each year. FFI & FFII can cover pretty much anything to do with the fireground or rescue, and those people are our most highly trained.
Sounds like our Essentials of firefighting requirement. The state has not made it official, but many if not most of the Chief's require their members to attend the now 168 hour essentials course prior to being allowed in an actual burning structure. The older members are grandfathered in with the old EBM course and anyone with Pro Board FF1 as well.
An added bonus for your volunteer department is that up to 8 or 10 members with Pro Board FF1 certs. helps with federal grants funding...I believe it is an extra $250 per member up to that limit of 8 or 10 in extra grant money you can receive.
Also in Pa it helps with the distribution of the Relief fund money, if your department is at the 90% or higher mark for FF1 Pro Board you get additional money from that fund annually as well.
I'm a PCF in Madera County Fire. We have a basic Ops Program for new PCFs that we started 25 years ago.It has evolved into a progam that lasts 4 to 5 months , but includes basic fire , first responder medical, Haz Mat, and confined space awareness. The program goes 8 Hours on Saturday and Sunday and 4 hours on a week night. If you want more Info let me know......
As Bruce mentioned, I'm also from Souther California (LA) and had never heard of volunteers until I moved to the Upstate NY. Up there, you had to go through FF1 and FF2 to be a member and respond to calls. You need FF1 to go to any working fire and FF2 to do interior operations. When I moved to West Texas, I was a little surprised. While the department does a lot of our own training, there isn't a requirement to be certified or tested to any level prior to a response. Basically, it's up to our officers to ensure a rookie is ready to go. We do send people to TEEX at Texas A&M every year, but not everyone can go. Our training is pretty much all internal to the department. We are pretty isolated community and don't have much choice. The big cities near us have paid departments with their own academies that are not open to local volunteers.