Looking for a New Year’s resolution that will give you the opportunity to not only change your life, but make a positive impact in the lives of others? Visit www.CapitalRegionFirefighter.org/ and “Step Up, Gear Up, and Volunteer” with one of 21 companies on the East and West Shores of the Capital Region to kick off the new year!
“There are many ways that people can help and protect their communities and many reasons to become a volunteer firefighter,” said Scott Ryno, coordinator of the regional effort. “No previous experience is needed to join, and training and equipment are free.”
For Bailey Horning of New Kingstown Fire Company in Silver Spring Township, being able to make a difference in the lives of those who need it is the most satisfying aspect of being a volunteer firefighter.
“To be able to help people of the community at their darkest times has given me a sense of purpose,” he said.
Horning alludes to those he volunteers with as a second family. Those who consider volunteering with their local fire department might find the same comradeship that has made a difference in his life.
“If you have any interest, please stop by and check out a training session,” he said. “Volunteering with your local fire company will be the best thing you will ever be a part of, and you may fall in love with it.”
Dakota Harrison, a volunteer with of Rescue Fire Company 37 in Harrisburg, is hoping to use his experiences as a firefighter as a stepping stone towards a career. Harrison is currently taking fire service classes at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC). Once he graduates next spring, he plans to obtain his certification to become a fire marshal.
“Volunteer firefighting has benefitted me and given me more experience in the fire service, and has given me some further direction as to what I want to do as a career,” he said.
Becoming a volunteer with a local Capital Region Firefighter company doesn’t just consist of fighting fires; there are plenty of opportunities for those who want to serve in other ways.
One example is Ryan Argot, who joined Hampden Township Fire Department’s Fire Police unit in July as a way to give back and get involved in his community.
“The team environment is great and will help you get comfortable learning and using new skills to help keep your community safe,” Argot said. “Feel free to step into something new, knowing your team will help you succeed.”
Here are some of the many ways to become a member with your local Capital Region Firefighter company:
Firefighters: Protect property and help save lives during an emergency or natural disaster. Learn to advance a hose line, how to position a ladder dependent on the situation, and perform search-and-rescue duties.
EMTs: Administer pre-hospital medical care. Transport the sick and injured to the hospitals. Respond to rescue calls.
Fire Police: Direct traffic and crowds. Provide general assistance to other first responders. Fire police bring order to an often a hectic scene.
Junior firefighters (teenagers): Gain experience and prepare to become a full member as an adult. This is also a way to pick up community service hours.
Administrative volunteers: Teach fire safety, assist at community events, fundraising and grant writing, bookkeeping, website and social media updates and much more.
“As we head into a new year, we are hoping that ordinary people will realize that they can become firefighters,” said Ryno. “Volunteer firefighting is a great way to be active in your community, and it’s such a rewarding experience.”
About Capital Region Firefighter
Capital Region Firefighter is a volunteer recruitment campaign that launched last spring through a $2.2 million, four-year grant from FEMA awarded to the Capital Region Council of Governments (CapCOG). To learn more and volunteer with your local fire company, visit www.CapitalRegionFirefighter.org.