Fire Corps Frequently Asked Questions
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What is Fire Corps?
Fire Corps is a grassroots initiative designed to help fire/EMS departments enhance their services by enabling community members to volunteer in a non-emergency capacity. The national Fire Corps program, administered by the National Volunteer Fire Council, offers resources to help departments start and implement a local program and help community members find opportunities to get involved with the fire and emergency services.
Do I have to be associated with a fire/EMS department to operate a Fire Corps program?
Fire Corps programs are intended to enhance our fire and emergency services so should operate under the administration and guidance of a local fire/EMS department. Department leadership must approve of the program and its activities.
How can Fire Corps benefit my department?
Fire Corps provides opportunities for community members to assist your department by performing non-emergency tasks and roles, enabling department members to focus on emergency response and training. Engaging community members may also allow departments to increase the services they offer, such as enhanced fire safety education programs. In return, volunteers gain a greater understanding of the fire and emergency services and become better prepared to handle their own emergencies as well as those of their neighbors. Fire Corps members also act as advocates for the fire and emergency services in the community.
My department already has a community volunteer program in place. Does it qualify as a Fire Corps program or do we have to change it in any way?
If citizens offer their time to support your department in a non-emergency capacity, it qualifies as a Fire Corps program. Existing department support services or auxiliary programs can take advantage of the Fire Corps tools and resources to garner new ideas to enhance their program. Access these resources here.
Is there funding available for Fire Corps programs?
Funding for Fire Corps programs can come from many different places. Explore opportunities to fund Fire Corps programs here.
My department would like to start a program. What help is available?
The Fire Corps national office has created a myriad of resources to help you start, market, maintain, and expand your department’s efforts to generate more community support through Fire Corps. These include guides, sample documents, training, and promotional materials. Access these resources here. Need additional help? Contact us.
How do I use the Fire Corps logo for my department’s program?
Fire departments are allowed to brand and advertise their community support programs as Fire Corps after obtaining permission from the Fire Corps national office. You can request approval to use the Fire Corps logo here.
Why should I join a Fire Corps program?
As a Fire Corps volunteer, you will be part of a renowned national volunteer program where you can support your local fire/EMS department with non-emergency tasks so department members may better protect your community from fires, natural disasters, and other emergencies. In return, you will gain a greater understanding of the fire and emergency services and become better prepared to handle your own emergencies as well as those of your neighbors.
What can I do for my local fire/EMS department?
Fire Corps members can use their individual talents and skills to support various non-emergency tasks, including but not limited to:
- Conducting fire prevention and life safety education in the community
- Providing rehab or canteen services (providing food and water to first responders during lengthy incidents)
- Raising much-needed funds for the department
- Performing data entry tasks
- Assisting with bookkeeping
- Providing administrative support
- Conducting public relations
- Assisting with events
- Preplanning and conducting research for emergency incidents
- Apparatus and facility maintenance
The types of tasks available are limited only by the needs of the department. Fire/EMS departments seek a variety of skills and will match your talents and interests to an appropriate assignment. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, they may ask you to help design a brochure, or if you’re a computer software expert, they may want you to help improve their existing information system.
How can I learn about Fire Corps opportunities in my area?
To find a volunteer opportunity in your area, click here and search using your zip code. If no non-operational opportunities show up in the results, contact your local department directly to see if they have a Fire Corps or auxiliary program.
What if there is not a Fire Corps program in my area?
If there is not a local non-operational fire service volunteer opportunity in your area, consider reaching out to your local fire department and advocating to start a Fire Corps program. Click here for resources and tools to help you and/or the department advocate, start, implement, and manage a program.
Are there age-specific requirements for who can or cannot volunteer? How about teenagers?
Age requirements for Fire Corps programs differ from department to department. Please contact your local fire/EMS department for information on its specific requirements.
Do I have to dedicate a certain number of hours per day, week, or year? How long do I have to serve?
Most departments are happy to have you offer any level of service. Most often, you may work out a schedule of hours with your local department.
What training do I need?
Your department will likely have an orientation and training to introduce you to its program. Additional training may be offered depending on your assignment.