We’re always looking for passionate, hardworking people who are interested in helping their community. Being a volunteer firefighter is hard work, but it’s incredibly rewarding.
Interested in becoming a firefighter but still have questions? Check our FAQ below for more details. If you can’t find an answer to your question here, please email, call, or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you.
– Isn’t firefighting dangerous?
Not as much as you would think. While there’s an inherent element of risk when working with fire, we prioritize safety over all other goals and have years of training keeping everyone safe. And we won’t throw you to the wolves – until you’re fully trained, you’ll be under the supervision of someone who is experienced and certified.
– Are you COVID-safe?
Yes, as much as we can be. We keep COVID safety in mind during all our trainings and calls. All our trainings take place outside or in areas with lots of airflow and we wear masks when we have to ride together in fire engines. We follow best practices from the Oregon Health Authority to keep ourselves and the public safe. We issue all our medical volunteers plenty of personal protective equipment including N-95 masks to reduce the risk of transmission. And most of our volunteers have been vaccinated since we are frontline responders.
– Do I have to be in terrific shape to join?
If you look more like Danny Devito than Channing Tatum, don’t worry. You have to be able to meet minimum physical requirements to be a firefighter, but we have responders ranging from their 20s through their 70s who all contribute to the best of their abilities.
– What does the time commitment look like? How much training is required?
We train every Monday night from 6:00pm until about 9:00pm. You will be expected to attend at least 75% of the Monday night training per quarter and be available to respond to a few 911 calls a month. If you can respond more that’s great.
New volunteers usually attend Fire Academy or train as an EMT their first year, which involves training twice a week plus occasional Saturdays (in place of, not in addition to, Monday night drills).
There are also optional classes offered for specific skills. These are often online, but can also include weekends at the state training facility or at other departments. It’s up to you how much you want to learn.
– What if I’m only around during the winter / the summer?
Each season has its challenges. Summertime is fire season, so we’d love to train you up as a wildland firefighter. In the winter we respond to more car wrecks and house fires, which may mean you concentrate on structural firefighter training.
And there are medical calls all year around. Whenever you’re available, we can find you a job.
– What if I can’t go on very many calls because of work/childcare/life/etc.?
That’s fine. We’re happy for whatever time commitment you’re willing to give.
– Do you have any paid positions or is it all volunteer?
Mosier Fire Department has a full-time paid fire chief by the name of Mike Renault. He’s also a firefighter and EMT and you’ve probably met him if you live in the community. He coordinates training and response for almost two dozen firefighters and EMTs, all of whom are volunteers.
We also have a paid Recruitment & Retention Coordinator – long-time volunteer Firefighter/EMT Maggie Goter fills this role. This position is funded through a SAFER grant provided through FEMA and will run through approximately the end of 2021.
– How do I become a medical (EMS) volunteer?
Mosier Fire Department provides emergency medical services (EMS) when people call 911 since we can show up more quickly than an ambulance coming from Hood River or The Dalles. If you’re interested in responding to medical calls you can take a couple months to get certified as an EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) or about six months to get certified as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) through Columbia Gorge Community College. Both these certifications will give you the skills you need to help provide medical care.
– What if I want to help but I don’t actually want to fight fire directly?
We have plenty of jobs for people who don’t want to fight fire. You can drive a water tender so our firefighters have water when they’re away from hydrants, you can become an EMS-only volunteer, or you can be a Support volunteer and bring us burritos or coffee when we’re out on a fire all night.
– What do I get out of this?
Other than the free t-shirt and all the Gatorade you can drink? How about becoming part of a wonderful community of terrific people who care about their neighbors? Our volunteers are a tight-knit group of caring, hard-working men and women – if you think this sounds like you, we’d love to have you join us.
– How do I find out more?
Give us a call or send us an email and we’ll answer any other questions you might have. You can also arrange to sit in on one of our Monday night trainings to come check us out. The first Monday night of every month (excluding holidays) is an apparatus and equipment check night and it’s a great time to interact with the volunteers, see the equipment, and ask questions or get feedback.