Ways to Support Your Local Fire Department
You don’t think of first responders, until an emergency happens. Our firefighters are always the first on the scene regardless of where the emergency is. Many of them are volunteer or getting paid very little to do the dangerous job that they do. Most of their funding comes from the government, and times can be tight for them. Here are a few ways that you can show your support for your local fire department.
- Join! You can volunteer your time to become a firefighter. More hands make light work. If you are hoping to one day become a hired firefighter, then this is the way to start. There are a few requirements that you need to complete before being on the team. You need to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and complete a physical and written test.
- Donate: The fire department is always in need of training material, supplies, and equipment. Occasionally the will host fundraisers. If you ever see one in your area, be sure to attend. But, you don’t have to wait to donate. You can easily research which fire station is nearest to you. Write out a check, and go to the station to hand it to a Fire Chief. It’ll be a huge help to them in their efforts to keep the community safe.
- Educate: The next best thing you can do is educate yourself and your family about fire prevention. You can go to Sparky’s website to play interactive games and videos to learn about fire safety. Be familiar with escape routes in your building, and agree on meeting areas in case of an emergency.
- Move Aside: While you’re out on the road as a driver or a pedestrian, leave room for the fire trucks to pass through easily. We’ve all seen the rubberneckers–the people that aren’t paying attention to the road because they are straining to see the accident. This gums up the works, and makes it more difficult for help to arrive promptly. It’s human nature to be curious, but do your best to focus on moving traffic so that fire trucks, ambulances, and EMTs can pass through.
- Stay on the Scene: If you call for assistance, then you should remain on the scene until help arrives. If you witness an accident, call and report it. Don’t leave until the emergency personnel tell you to do so. Even for non-emergency situations, it’s ok to call for help, but you should still remain on site until the issue is resolved. They may need to take a statement from you, or you might be able to offer more insight to what occurred. It’s especially important if they are having difficulty locating the area.
- Cook/Cater for On-Duty Members: It’s customary for locals to cook or cater lunches and dinners for the local fire department. Get a group together to split the costs, and surprise your local station with a hearty meal and snacks to keep them energized throughout their shift.
Your local fire department is what prevents an accident from becoming a major tragedy. They put their life on the line every day to protect strangers. Do your part by helping them do their job without interference.