The South Ward Fire Company welcomes you as a new prospective member. We are sure you have many questions and hopefully this letter will answer some of them. In addition, we want you to be aware of the significant commitment of time required to be an active firefighter. We certainly do not want to scare anyone away; we are always in need of new personnel who can volunteer their time. However knowing what is required up front will certainly remove any surprises in your first few weeks of membership.
South Ward Fire Company provides multiple services to Tamaqua Borough and surrounding townships. These services included engine company operations (firefighting), truck company operations, wildland firefighting, and rescue company operations. To deliver the highest level of service to the community, South Ward Fire Company places a tremendous emphasis on TRAINING and FIREFIGHTER SAFETY.
All training is offered locally, with the majority of courses held in station. South Ward Fire Company will issue you all required gear. Our Captain will be your point of contact for training, and will assist you in creating your training plan and scheduling your courses. Training requirements for new members with prior experience or training will be reviewed by the Fire Company Officers.
Training for new inexperienced firefighters begins with the new PA State Fire Academy’s Modularized Curriculum. This course is broken into four modules totaling 166 hours. Once a member completes all four modules, they will then need to take a First Aid/CPR class lasting 8 hours. Members must also complete the 16 hour hazardous Materials Operations class. We would like you to try to have the above courses done within two years.
While progressing through the above trainings, you will be required to attend a specific amount of in-house training that is offered every Thursday night. These trainings typically last 1-3 hours and must be attended as much as possible. The second Tuesday of every month is our company meeting and is a good opportunity to meet other members and become familiar with our company operations.
Your training will continue for the remainder of your career in the fire service. All members, from the Chief to the newest firefighter, must maintain the highest level of proficiency. It’s what the community expects of us, and what we are proud to provide.
The information listed above is what is expected of our members. It may seem overwhelming, but we are all volunteers and work and family commitments always take priority. If you have the desire, the Fire Officers will work with you and your schedule to make it happen. Much of the training can be done at your pace, and other creative arrangements can be made to satisfy in-house training requirements.