by Deputy Chief Thomas Bray, Amherst Fire and EMS District
The Amherst Fire and EMS District is looking for firefighters and Emergency Medical Responders. While there are some requirements to the positions, the key requirement is that you are interested in serving your community.
Here is a little about the Amherst Fire District. We are a considered a “full service” emergency services department, as we respond to nearly any call for help within our community. The department is led by our Fire Chief, Victor Voss, and his Deputy Chief, Thom Bray. We are comprised of two main “divisions.” These are Fire and EMS. Each division is overseen by an Assistant Chief. Our Assistant Fire Chief is Brian Swan, and our Assistant Chief of EMS is John Porrey. All of our Chief Officers are highly trained and all have well over 25 years of experience in fire and EMS.
The fire division has two working groups, fire and rescue. As the names imply, firefighters specialize in fighting fires, and rescue firefighters also specialize in rescuing people who are stuck somewhere other than inside a burning building (in a vehicle, on ice or in cold water, in a farm structure or implement, etc.). We also have a group of rescue firefighters that have volunteered to continue their training and are specialists at “technical rescue,” which involves high and low angle (rope) rescue, trench rescue, collapse rescue, and confined space rescue. The fire division also covers many of our “calls for service,” such as CO detectors that are going off, gas leaks, fire and safety inspections, etc.
Our fire division is made up of “paid-on-call” volunteers. This means that they have volunteered for the position and we pay them to train, do station duties, and respond. The majority of these members have full-time jobs, and volunteer in their spare time. We have mechanics, machinists, editors, foundry workers, and students that are firefighters. We also have “junior” firefighter members, who are high school students that have good grades our junior firefighters train along with the regular fire division members and can respond non-emergent to certain calls and assist at the scene. Joining the department in this division requires no training or experience. We will provide the training for anyone that meets our basic qualification requirements.
The EMS division also has two working groups, our ambulance and emergency medical responder (EMR) squads. The ambulance squad is made up of members that work onsite for 12- or 24-hour shifts to keep the ambulance staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These positions require a high level of training and experience. The ambulance is normally staffed with one EMT-Paramedic (the highest level of training in EMS) and another EMT-Paramedic, Advanced EMT, or Basic EMT.
The EMR squad, which some people call our “First Responders,” is made up of paid-on-call volunteers that are trained to at least the Basic EMT level who sign up for 12-hour “on-call” shifts. These members are paid a “flat rate” during the on-call shift. During the on-call shifts, the EMR members must stay in our response area and be available to respond to calls. If there is a call, the EMR personnel that are on call respond to the scene in their personal vehicle or one of the department vehicles.
EMR members assist the ambulance on ambulance calls and the firefighters on fire and rescue calls, provide primary EMS coverage to the community by working with neighboring ambulance services while our ambulance is involved in a call, and provide medical coverage to special events in the community. The majority of the EMR members have full-time jobs and volunteer in their spare time. Our EMR squad has medical assistants, school aids, editors, and mail carriers as members.
At this time, we are looking for firefighters and EMR personnel. If you are interested, you can contact any of our department members. If you do not know any members of the department, and you are interested, you can find recruitment information and an application at our website (amherstfd.org). Finally, you can always stop in at the station on one of our training nights or at any time (our ambulance crew is normally at the station, unless they are away on a call or assignment). Our station is located at 4585 Fairgrounds Road. Our training nights are:
- EMS: The first Monday of the month at 6:30 pm
- Fire/rescue: The second and fourth Mondays of the month at 7:00 pm
- Special/technical Rescue: The third Wednesday of the month, unless there is a fifth Wednesday, then it moves to the fifth Wednesday
As was mentioned in the opening of this article, the key requirement for these positions is that you are interested in serving your community. If you have that, we can help you with the rest of the requirements!