Want to make a difference in your community?
Possess valuable skills, but no training?
Need a little excitement in your life?
Are retired, a student, work a day job?
If you answered yes, YOU PROBABLY HAVE WHAT IT TAKES!
But you probably have some questions.
Q: Is everyone a volunteer?
A: Yes. The Fire Company is completely made up of volunteers, who make themselves available day and night, 365 days per year, to help their neighbors in need. We currently have about 60 members working out of three stations. Did you know that the majority of firefighters in the United States are volunteers? It's true - about 70 percent! In other towns, Fire Departments have been forced to supplement volunteers with paid positions, but Haddam Fire has avoided this only because of continued recruitment to ensure proper coverage.
Q: Do you get paid?
A: As volunteers our payment is the satisfaction of a job well done, the pleasure of new friendships and the appreciation of our community. However, we do offer a pension plan and reimbursements for certain activities.
Q: What positions are available?
A: There are several positions to consider.
Various tasks and training revolve around the core idea of preserving life and property in the Town of Haddam.
Firefighters will be trained on how to safely operate en route to and on the scene of an emergency. Firefighting tasks include combating, extinguishing and preventing fires of all types. Members will also drive and operate fire apparatus, use power tools including the Jaws of Life and learn fireground operating procedures which include strategy tactics as well as safety techniques.
Emergency Medical Service (EMS)
The Fire Company provides EMS service to residents of Higganum and Haddam and prepare them for transport. Members are encouraged to become a licensed Medical Response Technician (MRT) or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). The courses are paid by the department.
Fire Company members who can’t fulfill a Firefighter role are welcome to join the ranks of the Fire Police, whose objective is to provide scene safety to Firefighters and First Responders working at a scene. Fire Police also manage traffic concerns away from emergency scenes and protect the public from entering an active scene.
The Fire Company is always looking for members to help with various administrative, day-to-day operations. These non-firefighting roles include secretary, treasurer and historian, among others. There are also numerous committees to serve on.
Q: Who do you accept?
A: Firefighter candidates must be 18 or older, have a valid Connecticut driver's license and a satisfactory driving record, pass various background checks and a physical exam. Haddam Fire welcomes residents from every walk of life. Our members are men and women, students, landscapers, contractors, engineers, business owners and retirees - some in their late teens, others with 40 years of service under their belts. However, prior experience in the Fire Service is NOT required.
Q: How does the application process work?
A: New members are brought in on a rolling basis, which means as soon as all application materials have been reviewed, the candidate is sworn in at the next monthly meeting. Click here to download and print an application form.
You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application, call (860) 345-4945 or simply stop by the station to inquire in person. Monday nights are drill nights. Come see what we're all about!
Q: What kind of training must I have?
A: Advanced training courses are provided both on-site and around the area on topics such as Emergency Medical Services, interior Firefighting (Firefighter I and Firefighter II), Hazardous Materials (Haz-Mat), Ice Rescue, emergency vehicle operations and Extrication Technician courses, to name a few. Firefighter I is a 14-week program with about 200 hours of classroom and practical time. Classes generally consist of one evening class during the week and classes on every other weekend, excluding holidays.
Q: What will I learn in Firefighter 1?
A: As the initial entry program for firefighting personnel, Firefighter I introduces firefighting concepts, practices and techniques necessary for success within the Fire Service. This national standards-based course develops knowledge, skills and abilities in fire department organization, firefighter safety, fire behavior, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), fire extinguishers, building searches, forcible entry, ground ladders, ventilation, hose practices, fire streams and loss control. Candidates must pass a written exam and a practical test to complete the course.
Q: What kind of equipment will I get?
A: Firefighter candidates receive a pager, a binder of Company By-Laws and Personal Protective Equipment including bunker pants, coat, hood, boots, firefighting gloves, goggles and a helmet. Dress uniforms are also provided.
Q: What about meetings and drills?
A: Members meet each Monday, and train on average 3 nights per month. The first Monday of the month is our business meeting.
Q: Do I become a member right away, or do I have some time to "learn the ropes?"
A: All new members are sworn in as Probationary Members, giving them roughly a year to settle in, join a committee, meet company training requirements with the help of a "Buddy" and pursue state certifications, usually Firefighter I and Firefighter II. If all Probationary requirements are met at the end of the year, or earlier at an officer's discretion, the candidate becomes a full member with voting privileges and status as an Interior Firefighter.
Q: What kind of calls will I respond to?
A: The Fire Company responds to approximately 550 calls for emergency service per year. About 60 percent are medical emergencies, but there are motor vehicle accidents, basement pump-outs, carbon monoxide concerns, structure fires and brush fires, among many other things.
Q: How many must I go to?
A: Members must make a minimum 10 percent of calls in a given year. Alternately you can sign up for a "Duty Night" during the week and make yourself available as part of a response team.
Q: What about other groups affiliated with the Fire Company?
A: The Haddam Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary and Haddam Junior Volunteer Fire Company are also accepting new members. The Auxiliary has been in service for 44 years. Members prepare food and drink for the fire personnel during a fire or extended emergency situation, as well as organizing and providing refreshments at special events. The Junior Fire Co. is comprised of 14- to 17-year-old cadets who learn alongside firefighters and perform support functions at calls.
Q: What other agencies does the Fire Company work with?
A: Haddam Fire holds the State designation as R1 Medical first responding agency for all medical emergencies in town. As such, we work closely with Haddam Ambulance, mutual aid Ambulance Services and the Middlesex Hospital Paramedics to provide a complete pre-hospital emergency care system for residents in the Town of Haddam. We also work closely with other area Fire Departments, the Connecticut State Police and Town Fire Marshal's Office.
Q: What community outreach things do you do?
A: Throughout the year, members of the Fire Company march in parades, provide fire standby at the Durham Fair, attend Haddam Rivers Days, host Fire Station Open Houses, Stuff-a-Truck and go out to schools during Fire Prevention Week in October.
Q: Sounds like a lot of work. Where's the fun?
A: The Fire Company is like an extended family, and once the serious business of a call is over, there's a lot of joking around back at the firehouse. We also host annual events like our Company Banquet at the Riverhouse, the Children's Christmas Party where Santa rides in on a fire truck and fun events like our "Old Timers' Night."
Q: Is it worth it?
"Being a firefighter is like being a part of another family - a family dedicated to helping others in their greatest time of need," said Lt. John Kuzminski, chair of the Membership Committee. "When someone dials 911, they're often having one of the worst days of their life. When you arrive on the scene with your training and your compassion, you're helping them put their life back in order. It can be extremely rewarding."
So... DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? Contact us at email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org