Once we have your application, we’ll set up a time for you to sit with the Membership Committee for an informal, generally painless interview. This is just an opportunity for some of our members to ask some questions about you and for you to ask some questions about us.
We conduct a background check on all prospective members. We’ll be checking for a criminal history as well as calling your references. If you’ve belonged to any other fire companies, we’ll reach out to that company to be sure that there were no issues while you were there. We also will need you to submit a child abuse clearance for yourself (this is a Pennsylvania law for all fire companies and we will walk you through
how to do this.)
Based on the background check and interview, the Membership Committee makes the decision and will let you know if you’ve been accepted. If accepted, you’ll be welcomed as a Probationary Member
and you will receive a set of gear and will be able to respond to
fire calls with us.
Probationary Members are able to attend all fire call, training, and company events just like every other member, but you aren’t able to hold or vote. This lasts six months. After six months, the general membership will vote on whether to accept you as a full member. If the majority accept you, you become a full member. If the majority say no, then you will no longer be a member of RPFD. This is why it’s important during that six month period to show that you will make calls and come to training as well as help out around the station and with fundraising events.
It can be exciting. Most people have an inner child who wants to ride on a fire truck, right? We get to do that all the time. RPFD is fairly active, but we don’t get too many full-fledged fires (what we call “working building fires”). That’s actually a good thing. We like to think that our Fire Prevention Program is rather successful! Still, we can’t prevent every fire, and they do happen. We also respond to car accidents, natural gas and electrical emergencies, and various types of rescues. The work can get rapid-paced and even hectic, but there’s nothing like it and there’s a great feeling of accomplishment at the end.
You’re volunteering and serving your community. We see people on their worst days and we have the knowledge and training to help them. We work hard to keep the residents safe and, by keeping the volunteer service alive, we’re helping to keep all of our own taxes lower. If you’d like to make a difference, this might be the place for you.
Do you want to get out of the house, meet people, and expand your social life? The Emergency Services is like a community within a community. When you were in school, did you play on a sports team? Take part in the school play? Participate in chorus or band? Remember that feeling you had of belonging to a group, working together toward the same goal? That’s what you get in the fire service. You’ll work with other firefighters as well as police departments, public officials, and emergency medical personnel and you’re likely to develop some close friendships along the way.
How does volunteer firefighting work?)
We put no quotas on your time and have no “on duty” schedules. We understand that there are limits to the amount of time you’re able to give us. We all have jobs, families, and homes to maintain. We assume you do too. All we ask is that you make an honest effort to respond to calls and attend training and fire company functions during your free time just like the rest of us do. So, you’ll miss the calls that come in while you’re at work, but make the one that comes in while you’re watching TV that night. You’ll make three drill nights in a row, but then you’ll miss one because “Back to School” night falls on the same night and you’d like to meet your children’s teachers. You’re able to help us with a Cub Scout visit to the station on a Saturday, but you just can’t make the fundraiser that falls on the Saturday after that because your nephew is having a birthday party at the same time.
That’s how it works.
We all do what we can and share the responsibilities
necessary to keep the fire company running.
You need no training or experience to join RPFD. But, you will need to complete a certified Fire School course to become “pack-qualified,”
meaning that you can wear an air pack and perform active firefighting as well as enter buildings during emergencies. We pay for that training.
All we ask is that you get yourself to the classes and do the necessary coursework.
(The classes are generally on nights and weekends to help accommodate most work schedules.)
You can still respond to calls without being pack-qualified, but you’ll want to be useful. That’s why you should take advantage of our in-house training. We drill every Thursday night at 7pm. This is where you’ll learn how RPFD operates and we’ll get you started on learning all the jobs you’ll be expected to do during an emergency. Drill night is like attending practices when you’re on a sports team. It’s the time to learn new skills and to practice the ones you’ve already learned. It’s also the times to make mistakes and learn your limits.
There are quite a few restrictions placed on our Juniors. A lot of the restrictions are Pennsylvania Child Labor Laws, which includes a section specifically covering volunteer junior firefighters. We do place other additional restrictions on these firefighters ourselves. Most are for safety, but some are meant to keep discipline. It can be a lot of fun being a firefighter, but it’s still a serious business with a lot of risk and danger and we need our Junior Members to remember that.
Members must be at least 14 years of age and will ideally live in the Ridley Park area.
BEN NOTHER FORM PLS