In District volunteer firefighters are those who live in our fire district (we allow those living in the city of Joplin south of 32nd St. to volunteer with us). They respond from their homes to emergencies in the fire district.
All potential volunteers are required to provide an application, pass a background check, and complete an interview process, after which you will be invited to join the department or not. The initial time as a volunteer in either program will be spent learning how to be a safe and competent firefighter. As you can imagine, this will take a large time commitment. This training begins with a three weekend Basic Training Academy where you will learn the department’s history, operating guidelines and basic firefighter skills. This is a requirement for all of our new staff whether you have previous firefighting experience or not. A few weeks later you will attend a two weekend Medical First Responder course that will teach basic life-saving skills for EMS calls. The third course is a 12 hour Emergency Vehicle Operator Course. This course is a requirement for all new apparatus drivers. If you are an in-district volunteer and want to have emergency warning lights and siren, you must take this course before you’re approved to have them. After these courses are completed you’re on your way to becoming a Redings Mill Fire District Firefighter! Ongoing training is a must. We have several opportunities each week for training. This includes a training session every Tuesday night for volunteers. If you can’t make that training session we repeat that training for our career staff each Wednesday during the morning and afternoon. Can’t make it in person? We have an online training system also, that can help you keep current. Hands-on training is always best, as it allows you to practice as you learn new skills. It is also very important for building trust in each other that we have the physical skills and mental skills to act and think clearly during an emergency response.
What we ask of you as a volunteer firefighter
After your initial training, our first and foremost need is for you to respond to emergency calls. We would like you to respond to 10-15 of the average 100 calls we run per month. To some that may not sound like much, to others that may be a lot. The challenge is these calls come 24 hours per day and during family meals, holidays, and overnight. We don’t expect you to put emergency responses ahead of everything else in your life, but understand there will be conflicts. Make sure your family supports you before you commit to the department. Being a career or volunteer firefighter is a commitment to say the least. But it takes commitment to do anything worthwhile and we think helping others when they most need it is worth making the commitment. In addition to responses we have weekly training from 6:30-9:00 on Tuesday nights. We have some additional training classes available on a few weekends each year. You have the opportunity to volunteer to help with Public Education events a few times per month also. These aren’t required but we need our volunteers to help in order to meet the need in the community. All you’ll need to provide to be a firefighter is your time, energy and a vehicle to respond in.
What you’ll receive as a Redings Mill Fire District Volunteer Firefighter
The biggest payback for being a Redings Mill Fire District Volunteer Firefighter is a sense of accomplishment and pride in serving your community and being part of the fire department family.
It’s not about us as firefighters inside the station; it’s about the people out there in the community that need us!! There is nothing like being able to help someone on their worst day and bring some good to an emergency. We have to remember that when someone calls 911 it is probably their worst day. By being trained and prepared at a high level, we have the ability to save lives, make the problem better, and show those to whom we respond that We Care! You’ll receive respect from your community. Not a day goes by that someone in the community doesn’t walk up to one of our firefighters and thank them for what they do! You’ll receive a high level of training and safety equipment. We pride ourselves in the equipment and personal protective gear our department has. All of it is compliant with today’s safety standards.
We can’t promise a career here at Redings Mill Fire District, but when we have openings in our career positons we look at our own volunteers first. In fact a recent study of our own volunteer staff showed that over the last 15 years, 68 of 77 volunteer firefighters that had applied for full time positions in fire or EMS jobs had been hired. That’s an 88% hire rate for our volunteers!! Our current and former volunteers are Fire Chiefs, Training Chiefs, Battalion Chiefs, Paramedics, and firefighters all over this region. One of the biggest benefits of being a Redings Mill Fire District Volunteer is that we provide free training that prepares you for these positons whether your goal is Chief of the Department or to be able to respond in your neighborhood when needed. Finally, you be part of the team here at Redings Mill Fire District. New members and their families become part of our family quickly. We use the terms brotherhood (and sisterhood) often in the fire service. We take care of each other and each other’s family to the best of our ability. We have fun, play some jokes, but most of all we become a team and family trying to accomplish a high level of service to our community! Together we show our community and each other that We Care!!