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Supervisors OK Funds for Volunteer Firefighter Equipment; 2014 Volunteer Firefighter Academy Scheduled to Begin in February

December 11, 2013

The Placer County Board of Supervisors yesterday approved funding to purchase equipment for use by Placer County volunteer firefighters. The funding OKd by the Board will be matched by funds from a federal program administered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).

In unincorporated Placer County, firefighting and emergency medical services are provided by CAL FIRE, which operates under contract as Placer County Fire, and six volunteer fire companies: Dry Creek, Fruitvale - Fowler, Thermalands, Paige, Sheridan and Dutch Flat. The approved funding will purchase equipment for those volunteer agencies. The equipment includes:  Nomex fire retardant pants and shirts; emergency fire shelters; firefighting boots; headlamps and gloves; and web gear with hydration packs. 

“The passage of this budget item shows the Board’s foresight to provide for our volunteer firefighter program,” said John McEldowney, Placer County Office of Emergency Services Program Manager. “This expenditure will provide the volunteers with key equipment that will enable them to be superb firefighters for the county and stay safe.”

In related news, the 2014 Volunteer Firefighter Academy is scheduled to begin in February, 2014. Placer County Fire leads the efforts for this three-month academy, but it is an inter-agency academy, open to volunteers from other fire agencies in Placer County, including Alta Fire Protection District, Placer Hills Fire Protection District, Foresthill Fire Protection District, and Auburn Fire Department.

Becoming a volunteer firefighter is an excellent way to serve the community. Volunteers, like their paid counterparts, respond to different incident types including: emergency medical, hazardous material, technical rescue, natural disasters, wild land fires, structure fires, vehicle collisions, and public assists.

Volunteers can serve at many different levels and in many different positions. To help meet the needs of both the volunteer fire companies and potential volunteers, Placer County Fire has established five volunteer positions:

  • Support Volunteer;
  • Emergency Medical Responder;
  • Water Tender Operator;
  • Volunteer Full Attack Firefighter; and
  • Volunteer Firefighter Operator/Engineer.

For anyone interested to applying to become a volunteer, please contact the Fire Chief at CAL FIRE headquarters (530) 889-0111.  The Fire Chief will assess interest, answer questions, and refer individuals to the Volunteer Fire Station Captain at the nearest station. Those interested may also directly contact the Fire Station Captain at one of the local volunteer fire stations. Upon completion of the formal application process, hired Volunteers will then be required to meet attendance requirements for both training and call response.