Do You Have What it Takes?
Being a volunteer emergency responder is a rewarding experience and an extraordinary way to serve your community. It takes dedication, sacrifice, leadership, and mental/physical stamina.
Over 2 million of Arizona's population is protected by volunteer or combination departments. These departments are mainly in rural or semi-rural areas where residents and structures are spread over a wide range of terrain and territory. In 2009 Arizona added 1,810 new volunteer firefighters to department rosters, but lost 2,250. Arizona needs your help to help shrink this deficit. The volunteer departments in Arizona aim to support, coordinate, develop, promote, and implement a very rewarding and valuable way to serve your community.
If you're interested in becoming a volunteer emergency responder, please submit a volunteer application form and a representative from your area will contact you about the local volunteer program.
Volunteer Fire Fighters of Arizona
Established in 1964, VFFA is a non-profit membership organization. VFFA was incorporated in order to protect the citizens of Arizona. They aim to support, coordinate, develop, promote and implement the volunteer fire departments throughout Arizona.
VFFA's board of directors consists of volunteers spread throughout the state. Representatives come from Tucson to Bullhead City to help build a voice for the volunteer firefighters of Arizona.
Each year VFFA provides several benefits to its members. From a yearly conference, to state fire school scholarships, it is VFFA's goal to support all the steps included in being a volunteer firefighter. In 2010 VFFA applied for and was awarded a grant supported by the Department of Homeland Security. For the next 4 years the association will be able to implement this SAFER Grant that will in turn increase the number of volunteers throughout the state.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations in order to help them increase the number of trained, front line firefighters available in their communities. The goal of the SAFER grant is to enhance local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the NFPA and OSHA.
In 2010, the Volunteer Firefighters of Arizona received a SAFER grant to assist fire departments throughout the state. The grant program strives to educate the public about the need for volunteer firefighters through a marketing campaign. The integrated campaign consists of television commercials, print advertisements, and online advertising. The grant program has also provided a means to submit information for those who are interested in volunteering.
In order to learn more information about the VFFA please click here.
Although local governments and departments establish different selection criteria, many departments require that volunteers:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Be healthy and in good physical condition
- Complete basic fire & EMS training
- Live in close proximity to the fire district
- Have a clean criminal record
- Meet the minimum ongoing training requirements
- Respond to a certain percentage of calls
Time requirements vary by department. Time commitment will depend on several factors, such as the number of calls the department receives, training requirements, shift versus on-call structure, and community activities in which the department requires volunteers to participate.
Volunteer departments prefer that volunteers have the ability to respond to calls 24 hours a day, although most departments still accept volunteers who are unable to leave work or other obligations to respond to a call.
Typically, departments pay for training and firefighting equipment. Volunteer firefighting is an unpaid position; however, some departments may provide stipends or reimburse volunteers for certain expenses.
*Volunteer requirements differ by department. If you have a specific question about requirements in your area, Contact Us
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