What does a firefighter do?

Perhaps surprisingly, putting out fires is a small part of a firefighter's job. In Tremont, firefighters assist the ambulance service with medical emergencies, provide support to law enforcement with auto accidents, control traffic during emergencies and events, keep roads safe during storms, partake in search and rescue both on land and in the water. They also join in parades, run fire drills and fire awareness programs at schools, and even provide transportation for Santa to town events. Of course, when a fire does occur, firefighters utilize their training to safely and effectively extinguish the fire.

How are firefighters trained?

Firefighters attend regular inhouse training sessions focusing on the department's equipment and vehicles. Additional inhouse training covers medical first aid and safe handling of hazardous materials. Tremont firefighters train with other local departments on vehicle rescue, and in controlling live structure and wildland burns. On an individual basis, firefighters travel for professional development training on basic firefighting skills and specialized areas such handling collisions involving alternative fuel vehicles.

I haven't been trained as a firefighter, how can I help?

At a fire incident jobs can be classified as frontline, water supply, traffic control, and support. Frontline firefighters face the most danger and hence require the most training. They work to contain a fire by cooling it with water and controlling its access to oxygen. Insuring access to plentiful water is key. In a rural town like Tremont, this means hauling water from local ponds to the scene of a fire and pumping the water through hoses to the frontline firefighters. This requires training in operating the department's engines and pumps. Fire incidents can be exciting, and dangerous, so controlling vehicle and pedestrian access is important to the success of the incident as well as the safety of the public. Traffic control requires some training, but most importantly good judgement. There are many ways to support the department that require little training: assistance with gear, testing and cleaning of equipment, helping at special events like parades and fire prevention events.

Do Tremont firefighters get paid?

A little. Each year firefighters are given a stipend to help cover their expenses while volunteering for the department. The stipend averages about $500, depending on the role the firefighter plays in the department and the number of incidents they attended.