Its likely that the average person in your community doesn't know that volunteers are indeed providing their emergency fire and medical services. We influence outcomes that directly affect peoples lives by responding at a moments notice, whether its day or night, to put that fire out, to rescue that person in harm's way, or sometimes just to give the assurance that, in fact, nothing is wrong. In 75% of the communities in this country, volunteers provide the only organized force to do this work.
Why is this special type of volunteerism so critical at this time? In the past ten years, the ranks of emergency services volunteers have declined by 100,000 people. Conversely, the workload has practically doubled.
There are only three options for communities to maintain viable emergency services:
1. Recruit and retain volunteer Firefighters
2. Maintain a combination volunteer and career Fire Department
3. Hire entirely career Firefighters
Recruiting and retaining volunteers is obviously the most cost effective source of maintaining this service on behalf of all residents.
One of the most successful programs to bolster emergency services is rooted in recruiting young volunteers. Juniors are those volunteers between the ages of 14 to 18.
Volunteering allows us to give something back to our communities. Today, there are so many demands on our
time, and fire fighting or emergency services require specialized training in addition to the presence of a warm body. There are probably tens of reasons not to volunteer. However, if you have a sense of civic pride, if you want to see immediate results of a job well done, if you have the heart and spirit to make your community a better place, consider volunteering with the Mitchell Fire Department. You may find a meaning previously lacking in your work and your life, and you may also find a career.
For more information on how to become a volunteer Fire fighter, stop by any Wed. evening at either station or print out an Application /Junior application (PDF Required)
Volunteer emergency services is a grassroots operation. For years, Mitchell volunteer fire fighters did what they had to do to provide services. When they needed something, they had a sale or a fund raiser of some sort within the community to get the funding. It was this very thing that made them so visible, respected, and so much appreciated in the community.
Where do these volunteers come from? They come from Mitchell and surrounding communities.
Where does the leadership come from to organize and direct this unselfish effort? It comes from within the ranks. The Chief, who is almost always elected by peers, has the total responsibility for the safety of lives and the preservation of property within jurisdiction.
The Mitchell volunteer fire and emergency medical services is a challenging, exciting and rewarding experience.
If you volunteer, you can pursue a degree and expand your horizon to a career status, if you so choose to by applying to paid Fire Departments. Very few things can be a vocation and avocation at the same time, but you have that option as a Fire fighter.
In most areas of the country, you can be fully trained and state certified at no expense to you. Some restrictions do apply. There is no difference in certification between career and volunteer Fire fighter. The same goes for volunteer emergency medical services. Obviously, there are specialties that are branches of emergency services, such as arson investigation, fire inspector, and fire official. Emergency medical services specialties can expand to include Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and related specialties. However, FIRE and EMS are often combined into one operation.