By Asst. Chief John Glenn
It has been a busy fall and winter bringing aboard new faces at the District! During our fall 2017 hiring process for additional Combat-Role Volunteers, we were fortunate to have three individuals who had prior volunteer firefighting experience (Lateral Volunteer) join the organization. Due to their previous experience and certifications, they were able to hit the ground running with department specific training in a short amount of time before being cleared to respond on emergency incidents. In addition, we brought on five “recruit” volunteers who are currently finishing up their initial four months of foundational training. Once they’ve completed the initial Wildland training in April 2018, they’ll be able to augment our career staff on incident responses within the District.
Our operational needs within the Fire District for additional Combat-Role Volunteers will always be a priority moving forward and we welcome those who wish to come and spend time observing on Tuesday night drills to see what the role of our Volunteer Firefighter entails. In mid to late 2018, we’ll be implementing a new role of involvement that will be considered a Support Services Volunteer. The Support Services Volunteer will render assistance in a non-combat manner to our personnel operating at emergency scenes and providing additional support within the department as needed. Stay tuned for more information!
Resident Firefighter Recruitment
The Resident Firefighter program is shaping up to be a very successful venture that is mutually beneficial to both the Fire District and the Resident Firefighters themselves. Our Residents augment our full-time staffing model, working alongside and being mentored by our Career Firefighters on shift. From the initial group of three that were brought on board in August 2016, two of them have been hired by Chelan County Fire District 1 and Kittitas County Fire & Rescue 7. We’re now currently operating with four Resident Firefighters who are assigned across the three Career-staffed shifts. Three additional Residents will be selected this Spring following the testing process in April 2018 and will attend the State Recruit Academy in August 2018.
The selection method for this program consists of a competitive testing process involving a written exam, physical agility test, and interview. Once selected, the Resident Firefighter attends the Washington State Fire Training Recruit Academy in North Bend, Washington for 12-weeks. At the Academy, they acquire the foundational skills to function as an entry-level firefighter and obtain International certifications for Firefighter I & II and Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations.
Additional benefits of our Resident program include:
- Residential housing and a stipend-based shift schedule working with Career Staff
- National Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification
- National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Wildland Firefighter II
- Associates of Technical Science Degree in Firefighting at a local Community College
- ALL provided through a College and Fire Training Reimbursement Program administered through the Fire District