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Join the West Ridge Fire Department

By becoming a member of the West Ridge Fire Department, you will have the opportunity to serve and volunteer to your community.  The West Ridge Fire Department is one of the busiest fire departments in Erie County, averaging over 100 calls a month and over 1,200 a year.  Also by becoming a member, you will have the opportunity to meet new friends and learn new skills.  Some of the skills that you will learn are firefighting science, rescue operations, various level of medical training, and numerous other skills.  Besides running fire and medical calls, you have the opportunity to travel to various fire/rescue/ems expos, attend numerous department wide functions like the annual banquet, 5th Monday picnics and the annual corn roast.  All equipment and training that you will be required to obtain are provided and paid for by the West Ridge Fire Department. 

Benefits of Joining the West Ridge Fire Department?

A Second Family and Life Long Friendships:  At the West Ridge FD, you will find that the fire department is a second family to you.  Whether you are staffing the firehouse or visiting the local mall, members of WRFD share a common bond.  That common bond is to serve their community.  You will also have the chance to establish friendships that will last a life time.  The West Ridge FD is an organization where you will feel rewarded for serving your community. 

Events Year Round:  Every year, members along with their guests are invited to and always enjoy the annual rewards banquet held in the Fall season.  Other events held throughout the year are a night out at the Erie Seawolves game, several picnic held at the picnic shelter behind Station 47 along with being able to participate in several parades throughout the year.

Training:  Members have the opportunity to attend training, whether local, regional, state or nationwide FREE of charge.  The training could include seminars, conferences or hands on with instructors from throughout the region or nationally. 

Fitness Program:  Firefighting is a tough profession.  That being, the West Ridge FD participates in a program where if a member chooses to join a local fitness center, WRFD pays for 1/2 of the cost to join. 

 

Types of Membership:

Active Firefighter

To apply for membership to the West Ridge Fire Department, each applicant must be 18 years of age, be a resident of Millcreek Township, live within the WRFD response district, have a valid drivers license and have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent.

Each applicant must fill out an application for probationary membership and turn in the application to the Membership Committee.  Each applicant will then go through a department interview by the membership committee and the Chief.  A Pennsylvania State Police background check is also required to be completed before being presented for membership.

Once the applicant has gone through these steps, the Membership Committee will bring their findings to the general membership meeting.  Each applicant will need to be present that evening that the vote is taken to be placed on probationary status.  Information about each applicant will be provided to the membership about your application.

Upon being voted to probationary status, the following requirements are required to be completed during the probationary period.  The probationary period can range from 6 months - 24 months.  During the probationary period, a probationary firefighter is required to complete a fire department physical within the first 30 days of election to probationary membership status.  The physical is at the expense of WRFD.

A probationary firefighter is required to complete the following training requirements:  First responder or EMT class, NFPA Hazardous Materials Operations Class (24 hours), most current PA Firefighting Delmar Class (Essentials of Firefighting) and a state certified structural burn session (16 hours).  Each probationary member is also required to attend each Monday evening training session as well as each monthly business meeting during the probationary period.

Upon successful completion of all of the above training requirements, a probationary firefighter is required to have read copies of the WRFD by-laws, department policies and standard operating procedures.  A probationary firefighter is also required to sign an agreement to follow all rules of the West Ridge Fire Department.

Junior Firefighter

The Junior Firefighter Program was created in 1998 for the purpose of recruiting future firefighters, as well as giving the youth (ages 14 - 18) of the community a place to learn new skills.  After being on hiatus from 2001-2004, the program was started up again in 2004.  The members of the Junior Firefighters have helped out the West Ridge Fire Department in various ways.  Several current firefighters today got their start as a WRFD Junior Firefighter.

Besides learning the skills of becoming a firefighters, Junior Firefighters at West Ridge also participate in various other activities and functions.  They participate in parades, fire prevention details, block parties, public relations details and training of the new Junior Firefighters.  One of the tasks that the Junior Firefighters do every week is the apparatus checklist.  This allows the Juniors to learn the layout of the apparatus, what the tools are and what they look like and their function.  This is done under the supervision of a Senior Firefighter.

Training is held on Monday evenings along with the West Ridge Fire Department.  Juniors are permitted to participate in all aspects the training as long as it does not put the Junior Firefighter into danger, violate PA Child Labor Laws or violate the PA Junior Emergency Service Compliance Manual.  Some of the training that Junior Firefighters have participated in are search and rescue, vehicle extrication, hose line advancement, accountability, ladders, fire science, and ventilation.

Auxiliary

If firefighting or EMS is not your thing, you may also join the Auxiliary.  The Auxiliary has been around for over 60 years.  The Auxiliary supports the Fire Department in several ways.  When the Fire Department is out on a call for several hours, the Auxiliary will bring food and drinks to the scene or have the food and drinks prepared when the firefighters return to the station.  For the past few years, they have sponsored a night out at an Erie Seawolves Baseball game.  Several times throughout the year, various fundraisers are held to raise funds to help support the Fire Department.  The Auxiliary also provides a meal once a month to the membership during the monthly business meeting.

 

Ready to Join?

If you are ready to join or would like more information on joining, feel free to stop by the fire stations Monday evenings at 6:30pm.  Any of the members would be able to answer any question(s) you may have. 

Download Senior Firefighter Application

Download Junior Firefighter Application

 

West Ridge Fire Department     3142 West 26th Street     Erie, PA 16506     (814) 833-4440     info@westridgefire.org