Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue is a combination fire department meaning both career and volunteer personnel work together to provide emergency services to the community. The firefighter program contributes to this effort by providing volunteers who can respond back to fire stations for calls and also work with career firefighters on their shift.
Station “call back” is achieved by assigning volunteer firefighters to a volunteer station near their home and issuing radio pagers to alert them when a call is dispatched.
Depending on the size and type of incident, the volunteers are asked to respond back to their assigned station for area coverage or dispatch to the scene. While standing by at the station with personnel for routine calls is desired, responding for structure fires is essential. All structure fires require a certain number of apparatus and personnel on scene very quickly to safely mitigate the situation.
Volunteer firefighters also support community activities by participating in scheduled events where fire or medical coverage is necessary or desirable.
Initial training for this program begins with a volunteer recruit academy. The Kitsap County Volunteer Recruit Academy uses a “blended” learning approach to achieving competency as a firefighter. This blended learning requires self-study by the firefighter candidate, successfully completing online training modules via the Internet, and practical skills development during the weekend and evening classes. Volunteer Firefighter Candidates are then tested and certified to the International Fire Service Accreditation Council’s (IFSAC) Firefighter 1 level.
Volunteer firefighters also have the option of obtaining EMT-Basic certification before or after successful completion of the Academy. Most volunteers with potential career ambitions as a paid firefighter someday, will likely find that having an EMT-B and Firefighter 1 certification essential for the regional market.
Volunteer firefighters meet weekly for training sessions on Wednesday nights to train from 1900 hours to 2100 hours. 75% drill attendance during each 6-month period is required to remain in good standing with CKFR. The minimum level of participation is 12 calls during each 6-month period or 10% of the calls for their assigned station. Volunteer firefighters receive points for responses and training drills and a monetary value is established for each point under the Volunteer Recognition Program.