We know that for many of our volunteer firefighters, their commitment to protecting the citizens in Prince William County doesn’t just affect them; it also affects their families. When one family member serves, in a sense, they all do. If you’re thinking of joining our ranks, read on for some answers to how your decision impacts your family.
What We Provide
Your family’s first thought will always be about your safety — ours is too! For this reason, we provide the latest in protective gear to keep you safe in fires and when responding to emergency situations, as well as all the high-tech equipment you need to be successful.
In addition to the equipment, it’s always our priority to have our volunteers trained at the highest possible level. This means you’ll need to attend meetings and a variety of training, depending upon your personal goals, in addition to your regular duty shifts. We realize this can mean more time away from family, but it’s 100 percent for good reason! Training will include proper use of all equipment, protocols for responding to emergencies, and various certification courses, paid for by PWCFRS. It’s a wonderful way to further your career and skills at no financial cost to you! And as you grow in your career, you may even find yourself giving back in a new way by providing training to other volunteers.
One of our volunteers’ favorite benefits they receive is the comradery of a new extended family. There is nothing like it. As your family becomes part of the PWCFRS family, they too will see the wonderful network of caring people you’ve become a part of.
Balancing Family and Volunteering
One of the most frequent questions we receive from those considering joining us is “How do you balance this with a family?” Being a volunteer firefighter or rescue worker with a family certainly takes planning and commitment from everyone, but it can be done very successfully. Establish good communication from the get-go and keep up with your shift rotation schedule as far in advance as you can to help coordinate family activities.
While our volunteers’ families are exceedingly proud of their commitment to serving our community, we know families are concerned about safety. Contacting them after calls to note your safety and reminding them of your training and provided protective gear can be very reassuring. We also recommend being open about the physical and mental stressors a volunteer position like this can have. Strong, open communication is the key to success for all these potential challenges.
And if you have children, as a volunteer you will be their real-life hero. Share the excitement of your position with your children through tours, trying on gear and explaining what happens when an emergency occurs. Let them get to know your new firehouse family, and explain that sometimes you will be needed during important family times. Many of our families shift holiday celebrations to a time when their loved one isn’t on duty, and others bring the celebration right to them! With a little creativity and support, you’ll be setting an incredible example for the children and family members in your life.
Ready to join us? Contact us today.
Are you looking for a change? Here in Prince William County, the volunteer departments provide fire and emergency medical services to the County’s citizens and visitors during weekday evenings, weekends and holidays. Prince William County’s volunteer fire and rescue departments are seeking motivated individuals who have the desire to make a difference and provide an important service to their community. Learn more now.
- Posted by ATW
- On March 20, 2019
- 0 Comments