What Percent of Firefighters Are Volunteers

what percent of firefighters are volunteers

Volunteer firefighters make up a large percentage of the firefighting force in the United States. However, as the number of firefighters decreases, fewer people are volunteering to fight fires. The National Volunteer Fire Council estimates that about 67 percent of firefighters are volunteers. According to the group, there are approximately 1,115,000 firefighters in the United States.


The USDA Forest Service recruits firefighters to protect national forests and grasslands. Applicants can apply for a number of positions in their area. Applicants must have the necessary vaccinations, including the current season’s flu shot. Applicants must also be physically fit. Applicants who meet minimum qualifications are then referred to a hiring official.

When recruiting millennials, emphasize the benefits of the job. Many potential recruits don’t know the many perks the fire service offers, including a public service loan forgiveness program and scholarship programs. Also highlight the many benefits of the fire training. Millennials often look for perks that are not offered by other jobs, and these should be highlighted when recruiting millennial volunteers.

Providing career advancement opportunities is important to help keep firefighters and lower turnover. Training firefighters in advanced methods can improve their skills, and management positions can be offered to experienced firefighters. Recruiting firefighters can also be made easier through state incentives and retirement payouts. Donations and grants for safety equipment are another way to attract and retain firefighters.

Recruits must meet minimum physical and academic requirements. Recruits should also adhere to established standards of behavior and respect. A lack of respect for the new recruits will discourage them from joining the department. This will ultimately hurt the public’s opinion of the department. So, it’s vital to create a welcoming and inclusive culture.

Volunteer fire departments across New York are participating in a statewide firefighter recruitment initiative called RecruitNY. This initiative seeks to increase volunteer firefighter membership in the fire service, which has recently fallen due to the state of the economy.


Volunteer firefighters require specific training to be able to do their job well. They must be physically fit and have the energy to stay alert during stressful situations. They must also have the courage to save the lives of many people, including victims of fires. Volunteer firefighters may have to enter burning buildings, crawl through tight spaces, or even dive into bodies of water. This requires teamwork and a willingness to accept risk.

The Office of State Fire Marshal has developed a program to meet the minimum training requirements for firefighters who volunteer. The program focuses on basic firefighting skills that are internationally recognized. It can also be tailored to meet ISO Recruit Training requirements. Training records should be kept by each department and be verified for compliance.

Volunteer firefighters should attend training every week. They should have the opportunity to gain additional knowledge by attending conferences or shadowing more advanced firefighters. The most practical training, however, comes from working in a fire department. In addition, volunteer firefighters should take continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their field. Furthering their education can help them enhance their skills, improve their job prospects, and increase their earning potential.

Those interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter should research their local fire department and contact the volunteer coordinator. While the application process may vary, it usually involves submitting a registration form and other identification documentation. Applicants should answer questions about their experience and why they want to volunteer. Additionally, volunteers must also attend department meetings and participate in departmental activities.

Volunteer firefighters also need to be prepared for three hours of training every week. Some volunteer fire departments pay for their members’ EMT and CPR training, as well as basic life-saving training. They may also set aside money for attending conferences.


Despite the benefits of volunteer fire departments, they aren’t without their costs. Volunteer firefighters are required to spend hundreds of hours training and thousands of dollars on gear. According to a study by the International Fire Chiefs Association, clothing and tools alone can cost nearly $9,500. There are also education fees, which vary from department to department. Many departments expect recruits to cover a percentage of these costs. In the case of the Highland Volunteer Fire Company, all training is covered.

Volunteer firefighters are eligible for tax credits in some states. A single volunteer firefighter can receive up to $3,000 in tax credits each year, and a married couple can get up to $6,000. There are also tax incentives. For example, the Firemen’s Association of State New York will reimburse first responders up to $1,500 per semester for training.

Volunteer firefighters are vital to public safety. In smaller communities, they are especially important. About 95 percent of volunteer firefighters work in fire departments with populations of less than 25,000 people. One of the most important reasons to volunteer is that they save communities money. According to the National Fire Protection Association, replacing volunteer firefighters would cost $46.9 billion each year.

Volunteer firefighters are required to complete EMT training. These training courses teach the basic life-saving techniques for firefighters. The cost of EMT training is anywhere from $800 to $1,000, depending on the training provider. Volunteer firefighters are also required to attend EMR training, which builds on their EMT certification. This course teaches firefighters how to perform primary assessments, CPR, the AED, trauma response, pharmacological intervention, and the use of epinephrine auto-injectors. This training can be obtained through Inland Northwest Health Services.

Volunteer firefighters are not eligible to be paid an hourly wage. However, a city or town can pay them per call or as a stipend. However, it cannot exceed 20 percent of their total compensation.


Volunteer firefighters must meet various requirements in order to work in the fire service. These requirements can vary depending on the size and type of fire department. For example, a large city department will have stricter requirements and a higher training budget than a small rural one. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and in good physical shape, as well as possess a high school diploma. They may also have to pass a background check and drug test before being allowed to join the department.

Volunteer firefighters undergo 110 hours of training, which includes classroom instruction and hands-on practice. They learn fire prevention, handling hazardous materials, and standard fire fighting techniques. They also learn how to properly handle and use rescue tools. After their initial training, new volunteer firefighters complete a probationary period. Thereafter, they continue their training on the job. Some volunteer firefighters even train as apprentices under a professional firefighter, which can take up to four years.

Volunteer firefighters can also gain additional training by attending conferences or shadowing more experienced firefighters. In fact, most volunteer fire departments require their members to participate in continuing education, which helps them remember the proper protocols and keep abreast of industry developments. Taking further education is a great way to build skills and enhance job prospects, and it can boost your earning potential. Some departments will pay for additional training, which can make you more competitive for paid positions.

Volunteer firefighters must have a high level of physical fitness and coordination. They should also be highly motivated and be team players. They should also be mechanically inclined. Volunteer firefighters are not medically tested before joining, but their abilities will be evaluated during their probationary period. During this period, a criminal record check will be performed and references are needed. As a volunteer firefighter, you will receive many benefits in return.

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