Volunteer Firefighter FAQ
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1. If I have no training or experience, can I still apply?
Each recruit is provided with a basic training course within the first year of joining a department. It is not necessary to have any prior training or experience; however, completion of a standard first aid course, or any other related training, would be beneficial.
2. What other training is provided?
Training is a priority for all of our firefighters. The County follows the 1001 NFPA standard for the professional certification of firefighters as a bar to reach for. As a result, regional courses are hosted throughout the County that are coordinated through Fire Etc. Only certified Fire Etc. instructors are used for these courses. The courses are usually held on two consecutive weekends and involve a theory and practical portion. A certified proctor, recognized by Fire Etc., administers the written and practical examinations at the host department. Certification and marks are usually received from Fire Etc. 2 to 3 weeks after the examination has been written. The minimum training levels for all departments are S100, S200, and S300. For more information on the Fire Etc. 1001 firefighting training, please visit the Fire Etc. website.
3. Why is so much time spent on training?
Firefighting is becoming an increasingly technical and skilled field, and safety of our volunteer members is our primary concern. A significant amount of time must be dedicated to training either through department hosted Fire Etc. NFPA 1001 courses, or standard department organized practices. To ensure that all firefighters are prepared to deliver the highest level of service required, training standards have been developed. These standards provide the needed skills, abilities and knowledge that enable our volunteer members to deliver safe, effective emergency services to residents.
4. Do volunteer firefighters receive pay and benefits?
Yes. The County provides $18/hr for an incident response plus $.50/km for use of personal vehicle when responding. For training nights or practices, volunteer members also receive $.50/km for mileage compensation. Each department is also allocated an amount that is divided amongst its members based on a points system. Although the fire service has a good safety record, firefighters are covered by a comprehensive insurance policy and WCB. Protective clothing and uniforms are supplied, and each member is issued a radio.
6. How much time is involved?
Each department has regular training or practice nights starting at approximately 7:30 p.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m. There may be occasional weekend department-organized practices as well. All volunteer members are expected to attend as many of the training sessions as possible. Contact your local Fire Chief for more information.
7. Who can become a firefighter?
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and hold a valid Class 5 Alberta Driver’s License. They should be physically fit and live within Woodlands County near the fire department they wish to join. Applications are reviewed by the appropriate fire chief and review committee.
Download an application form
Please mail completed forms to:
Box 60, #1 Woodlands Lane
Whitecourt, AB T7S 1N3