It is key to attract people into the emergency services while they are young so that they form a lifelong connection, whether as a first responder or as a community supporter. The junior firefighter program gives our town’s youth the chance to learn about local fire, rescue, and emergency medical services response organizations in a safe, controlled, educational, and fun way while providing departments with an excellent recruitment mechanism.
Reaching out to people when they are young has long-range effects, and encouraging youth to take part in the emergency services is extremely beneficial to local communities and departments. Benefits of junior firefighter program include:
- Allowing youth to gain insight and interest in becoming long-term members of the emergency services.
- Increasing awareness among youth about volunteering and supporting the fire and emergency services.
- Providing departments with additional help in accomplishing non-firefighting or non-emergency tasks.
- Instilling valuable life skills, such as teamwork, responsibility, and cooperation in our town’s youth.
- Leadership development for Spencer’s youth, who are tomorrow’s leaders.
- Educating parents and mentors on the importance of encouraging volunteerism
- Junior members must be in at least 11th grade or be 16 years of age to join and can participate until 21 years of age.
- Junior members must be a resident of Spencer or attend Spencer - East Brookfield School systems.
- Junior members under 18 years of age must obtain full written permission from the parent or legal guardian to participate in the program.
- Junior members report directly to their advisor for all assignments and activities.
- Junior members should regularly attend meetings or events for youth program participants. These may include basic training coursework, a fixed activity, or other activity with the department.
- Junior members may only perform support or auxiliary work at fire ground operations.
Junior members and their parent or guardian must sign a waiver that includes full disclosure of risks and releases the department from liability should someone become injured
Once accepted into the program recruits will be trained in areas including but not limited to:
- Fire Behavior
- Portable fire extinguishers
- Ropes and knots
- Hose connections and nozzles
- Tools and equipment
- Ladder evolutions and practices
- Forcible entry
- Fire streams
- Hose evolutions and practices
- Salvage and over haul
- Fire suppression techniques
- First aid and CPR
As the SFD Junior Firefighting Program starts it will be limited to a maximum of 10 junior firefighters. Each training class with consist of 2 trainers and 1 or more support personal if needed.
The junior firefighters will be trained in levels based on their knowledge and skills. Each junior firefighter will start with classroom training (low risk) and will be required to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the classes covered before being able to move onto level 2.
In the second level (minor risk) the junior firefighters will take the information they have learned in level 1 and trained how to physically put it to use. Just like level 1, the junior firefighters will be required to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of what was instructed in level 2 before moving to level 3.
In the third level (high risk) the junior firefighters will take all the information they have learned in both level 1 and level 2 and put it into action. They will be introduced to live fire and see how all information they have been taught comes together.
The fourth level will be available to any junior firefighter age 18 – 21 who has passed all 3 levels and has completed or is enrolled in the firefighter I/II program.