The volunteer fire and emergency medical service is a challenging, exciting, and rewarding experience, conviently condensed in one package. It also offers several viable options which you can pursue as a volunteer or in a career position.
If you volunteer, you can pursue a degree, and expand you horizon to a career status, if you so choose. Very few things can be a vocation and an avocation at the same time, but you have that option as an emergency services volunteer.
In the Berlin fire Company you can be fully trained and State certified at no expense to you. There is no difference between volunteer and career fighter certification. The same goes for the emergency medical service. Obviously there are specialties that are branches of the emergency services, firefighter, fire investigator, haz-mat, extrication, emergency medical technician, Fire prevention and the list goes on. Many of these specialized fields are often combined, and basic firefighter training touches on all aspects of these.
Volunteer emergency services is a grassroots operation. For hundreds of years, volunteers did what they had to do to provide services. When they needed something, they had a bake sale, breakfast, dinner, or some other type of fundraiser to raise the needed funding. It was this very thing that made them so visible, respected, and appreciated in the community.
Volunteers come from all walks of life. Most importantly they come from our own community. They vary in age, and are both men and women.
It may not be obvious to all the people of the town that most Fire and Emergency Medical Service in Berlin is provided by volunteers. We influence outcomes by responding at a monents notice, whether it be day or night, good weather or bad, to put out a fire, rescue a person in harms way, help a sick or injured person, or sometimes just to give the assurance that, in fact, nothing is wrong.
In 73% of the United States volunteers provide the only orginized force to do this work.
In the past years the ranks of the volunteer emergency services has continually been in decline. Conversely the workload has doubled.
There are only three options for communities to maintain viable emergency services:
Recruit and retain Volunteers
Create and maintain a Career an Volunteer Service
Hire entire Career Emergency Services.
Recruting and retaining volunteers is obviously the most cost effective source of maintaining this service on behalf of all residents.
Volunteering allows you to give something back to your community. In this day and age there are many demands on everybody's time, and Emergency Services requires specialized training in addition to a warm body. There are probably tens of reasons not to volunteer, however, if you have a sence of civic pride, if you want to see immediate results of a job well done, if you have the heart and spirit to make your community a better and safer place, consider volunteering with your local Emergency Services. You may find a new meaning previously lacking in your work or life, and you may find a new career.