I’ve been asked this on several occasions, and this puts it best.
In large and small communities throughout the United States, volunteer firefighters fulfill a number of important roles. Along with putting out structure fires, volunteer firefighters respond to car accidents, natural disasters and other emergencies.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in the United States, almost 70 percent of all firefighters serve in a volunteer role, while the other 30 percent receive compensation and benefits.
Typically, volunteer firefighters work in communities with fewer than 25,000 people, with nearly half serving jurisdictions with fewer than 2,500 people. Volunteer firefighters have a vested interest in volunteering in these communities, they live and work as well as having love ones to protect.
Just like their paid counterparts, volunteer firefighters respond to residential, business and other structural fires. They work to suppress the fire using a number of means, including laying water lines, putting up ladders, creating necessary ventilation and entering the property, if necessary. Volunteer firefighters may drive the fire trucks to the scene or drive their own vehicles. Volunteer firefighters also operate different firefighting apparatus, including hoses, ladders, axes and saws.
Volunteer firefighters respond to other emergency situations, such as car accidents and natural disasters. They work closely with EMS as first responders. They rescue victims and provide first aid, including CPR, mouth-to-mouth breathing and wound care. When administering first aid, volunteer firefighters must attempt to speak to the victim or other witnesses to determine what happened. They must also try to find out if the victim has any previous medical issues that may affect emergency medical treatment.
In an all-volunteer fire departments, the firefighters are responsible for maintenance and care of the fire vehicles and equipment. Maintenance duties also extend to the fire station itself. At a fire or accident, volunteer firefighters work to clean up the scene to prevent any additional damage and may have to shovel, sweep or remove debris. I am proud to work with our Warren County volunteer fire personnel.
Warren County Fire Chief