The Waxhaw Volunteer Fire Department is always looking for new members. As our name indicates, we are a volunteer organization that functions because your neighbors volunteer their time to provide you with fire protection and emergency medical first response.
Have you ever thought about serving in this capacity? The majority of our members are not firefighters as a primary career; they work regular jobs and volunteer their time. Many joined the department with no experience, but with a desire to serve their community.
Listed below are many of the initial questions we receive from prospective volunteers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the primary needs at the Waxhaw Volunteer Fire Department?
There are two skill sets. One is as a Firefighter the other is as an Emergency Medical Technician. Many members are both firefighter and EMT qualified, but not all. The highest percentages of calls run by the department are medical calls.
What is an Interior Firefighter?
This is a person that has met the State of North Carolina’s minimum professional qualifications and is certified by the State Fire Marshall to enter burning structures in order to conduct life and property saving activities.
How long does it take to become certified as an interior firefighter?
The combination of classroom and practical exercise programs are self-paced. Firefighter classes are offered via county fire stations and community colleges.
Dependent upon class availability and time dedicated by the member, the expectation is for new members to be certified within 24 months. However, it is possible to complete the course work in much less time, possibly less than 9 months if the time is invested.
What is an Emergency Medical Technician?
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) respond to emergency situations such as; automobile crashes, heart attacks, strokes, near drowning, unscheduled childbirth, poisonings, falls and general sick person calls. During these types of emergencies EMT’s are responsible for administering life-saving medical attention.
How long does it take go become a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)?
EMT courses are offered through local community colleges and follow the standard semester schedule. The program is one semester in length and requires roughly 220 hours of classroom and clinical experience to complete. Candidates must pass a state exam or a national exam to become certified as an EMT.
Do I have to be certified as both an interior firefighter and EMT?
No, this is a personal choice. Many members elect to obtain both certifications; however, it is not required. The department needs members with either certification, or both.
Do volunteers work “shifts” or have to commit to set schedules?
No, being a volunteer you set your own schedule. While the department does have a limited part-time paid staff, volunteers can come to the station anytime during the day or night. Volunteer’s staff night shifts at the station and members can commit to stay an entire 10-hour day shift, or 8-hour night shift. Volunteers can come to the station just to standby for calls for any length of time, all are welcome. Being a “volunteer” department, many members respond to calls from home once they have met the minimum qualifications. This allows members to be at home and still be an active volunteer. The goal is to have trained members reporting to duty when the community has a fire or medical emergency. Our Department does have a minimum participation requirement that members are expected to comply to.
Other than being a firefighter or EMT, are there other ways to serve my community through the fire department?
Yes, the department also has as an Auxiliary Team and residents can serve as Board Members.
- Auxiliary team members provide support to firefighting operations by assisting during training; fire ground operations; staff rehabilitation during prolonged emergencies; and with station/vehicle readiness after events. Duties include securing food and water during emergency events, refilling air bottles, picking up EMT’s from the hospital following a medical emergency, planning and hosting public relations events as well station dinners and special events for members.
- The Community Board Member duties include a monthly meeting of the Board of Directors to discuss business and personnel issues and additional meetings throughout the month depending on additional responsibilities assigned. The WVFD has two Community Representative positions on the Board.
I have never been inside a firehouse; can I visit and ask questions to see if I am interested?
Absolutely! We are staffed weekdays from 8am to 6pm and most weekends. You are welcome to stop by or call and schedule an opportunity to take a tour and ask questions of the duty staff.
What is the process to become a member of the WVFD?
The first step is to complete an application. You may fill an online application here