What it takes to become a Volunteer Firefighter
It takes a special person to fill the boots of a volunteer firefighter. It starts with the desire to help, and the courage to act. It requires dedication, responsibility, hard work and the willingness to learn and accept the challenges of a difficult job. It requires someone who considers respect and appreciation reward enough.
Today’s Bayport Fire Department volunteers are a highly-trained team of men and women who have made an extraordinary commitment to serving those in need. When you join the Bayport Fire Department you will serve a minimum of 1 year as a Probationary firefighter or “Probie” as we affectionately call all new members. During this time period the probies must successfully complete a nationally recognized firefighter training course provided by the Suffolk County Fire Academy. Firefighter 1, consists of 110 hours of classroom and hands-on training and is followed by a written examination. This is one of the requirements needed to become a Bayport Firefighter. Additionally, probationary members will attend in-house training on Sunday mornings. These classes’ are taught by the Officers and members of the Fire Department and begin at 9am and last between 2 and 3 hours. You will be certified in the use of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, CPR, heavy rescue equipment and much more. All of these classes utilize the fundamentals of Firefighter 1 but clearly define the Bayport Fire Departments best practices for our Department.
At the Bayport Fire Department, we take training seriously. All training is needed in order to provide the best possible service to our community. We demand a lot to ensure that the public gets a lot, and we require that this extensive training be put to good use. While on probation, members are encouraged to attend all Department drills, Company meetings and Department functions. However, once our probies get a taste of what it feels like to truly make a difference and help people, many probies far exceed the bare minimum. Probation in the Bayport Fire Department is not easy, but things that are worthwhile seldom are.
Once our probies graduate to full-fledged members of the Bayport Fire Department they have the satisfaction of knowing they have achieved their place in our department and have become a part of a long standing tradition and a legacy of local heroes. The training does not stop here, and all Bayport Firefighters are required to attend many hours of training each year to maintain their status of “active” firefighters.
While training and responding to emergencies take up many hours, there are additional roles we ask Bayport Firefighters to play. There are educational programs and fire prevention class’s we provide to the schools and other community organizations and out bi-annual open house in which the public gets to see demonstrations on fire safety and the equipment we use to protect them.
Of course, parades, funerals, memorial services, fundraising activities and meetings also become a regular part of one’s life as a member of the Department. New members often find that the Bayport Fire Department can quickly become a home away from home and its members …. another family! And as such, we stand together. We train, work hard, and play together; we learn and grow together; we laugh and mourn together.
Is being a volunteer firefighter for the Bayport Fire Department tough? You bet it is, but to borrow an old slogan from the U.S. Army, it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love! There is nothing that can compare to the feeling of truly making a difference in people’s lives; the feeling of being at your best when things are at their worst; the feeling of being part of something bigger than ourselves; being part of a united family who sacrifices for each other and for those we serve; the feeling of doing a job that not many others are willing to do, not because you have to, but because you want to help. There is a hero inside of all of us, waiting to emerge if just given the chance…. Are you ready to give yourself that chance?
Bayport Fire Department ….. Heroes Wanted !!
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Bayport Firefighter. The volunteer career you are about to embark on is a very rewarding experience. Please complete the enclosed application and return it with a $20.00 application fee. Any questions left blank could cause your application to be rejected or the process delayed. Please print clearly in blue or black ink. The completed application must be signed and notarized by a public notary in order to be accepted by this organization.
The requirements to join the Fire Department are as follows:
1. You must be 18 years or more years of age, unless you are a junior firefighter with at least 1 year in the Bayport junior firefighter program.
2. You must meet the 1 year residency requirements.
3. You must be physically able to perform firefighter duties.
4. You must complete the probationary period within 2 years of being accepted.
Members not completing any part of the outlined course may be terminated.
If you are over the age of 50 or you have a note from a physician stating that you are physically unfit to serve as a class “a” firefighter, you may opt to join the Fire Police Company. The requirements to do so are as follows:
1. Complete and pass the Suffolk County Scene Support Operations course.
2. Complete and pass the Suffolk County Fire Police Course.
3. Complete the abbreviated Bayport Fire Department firefighter course.
4. Pass at least a class “C” physical delineated by the rules of the Fire District.
Transfer members from other Fire Departments, volunteer or professional, are allowed to immediately apply (waiving the residency requirement). You must produce a letter from your former department stating your credentials.
After these requirements are met, the application goes through the following steps:
1. Initial reading at the Bayport Fire Department monthly meeting which is held on the first Friday of the month.
2. You must receive a physical, including drug test, from the District designated physician, with a signed affidavit. This will be given to you upon receipt of your completed application. The exam is paid for by the Bayport Fire District.
3. During the month you will be contacted by the investigation committee. You will be made aware of the rules and regulations and your training requirements for the Department, an interview will also be conducted. At this time you are encouraged to ask and answer many questions. This will be an opportunity for you to obtain a better understanding of what it is like to be a volunteer firefighter.
4. At this interview you will also go through a physical ability test. Raise an extension ladder, climb up and down, then lower it, carry a 50’ bundle of 2 ½” hose approximately 50 feet, perform 5 push-ups. This test must be performed in the presence of a Chief or Company Officer.
5. Upon completion of the tests, the interview and review of application, the Investigation committee will recommend you to the Department for approval of membership.
6. Upon Department approval, your application will be turned over to the Bayport Fire District for final approval. The District meeting is the first Monday following the Department meeting.
Any misrepresentations or fraudulent information given to us during your investigations, either written or verbal, will result in the immediate rejection of your application.
If all goes well, you should be able to begin your probation that Monday evening. As you can see, this process takes at least 2 months. This may seem like a long time, but we find that this process works best for us. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any Chief at 472-0641.
Probation means you are a trainee of the Fire Department. During this time you have the rights of a department member (although if you are disciplined by suspension while on probation then you are automatically dropped from the roles). The Probation period lasts for about 1 year. Probation is completed by passing 9 months of in house training classes (typically classes are almost every Sunday, 9:00 am to 11:00 am). In addition to the in house training, you must complete and pass the Suffolk County Fire Academy. The Academy consists of about 18 classroom session plus CPR training. Classes are offered throughout the county at different fire departments as well as the academy it self. In addition to the classroom training, you are required to attend 24 hours of practical skills training at the Academy.
Drills, Training, Miscellaneous:
In addition to your regular training, the Fire Department has continuous training though out the month. It is to your benefit to attend as much as you can. You are urged to attend meetings, parades, clean ups, and fund raising event.
Becoming a firefighter is hard work and requires a lot of time, however, there are plenty of people who are ready to help you through it and the rewards are endless.
About the Bayport Fire Department
The Bayport Fire Department was started in 1891 as the Bayport Hose Company by some local residents of Bayport. All of the money was funded by donations until the late 1920’s when the Bayport Fire District Tax Municipality was created. The Fire Department was incorporated in the Late 1890’s as the Bayport Fire Department and two sub divisions or Companies were created; the Hose Company No.1 and the Hook and Ladder Company No.1. Sometime in the late 1940’s a third company, Engine Company No.1 was created. Today in addition to the three companies, there is also the Fire Police Company which is responsible for Traffic Control and Scene Security at emergencies, the Rescue Squad which comprises of Special Rescue Situations and EMS, and The Water Rescue Team which is responsible for all Near and Off Shore Water Rescues which Bayport is heavily involved in.
The Training Committee sees to it that you are well trained in all that we do, so it’s not just firefighting. Once you have completed your probation you can continue your training at a more specific or specialized area that interests you such as the following:
Tactical Rescue (High Angle)
CFR, EMT-D. AEMT. Paramedic
The Bayport Fire District provides a Longevity Awards Pension program.
To earn your pension you must meet the following criteria on an annual bases.
50% of all General Fire Alarms (on average about 20-30 calls)
15 (Combination) Meetings, Misc, Standby, Training, Elected position
You are eligable for this program after one full year of service with the Department. This criteria has no baring on status with the Department. The Fire Department is governed by it’s own constitution and currently does not have a dismissal policy based on percentage.
The Bayport Fire Department has a great deal of history and family activity behind it. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of a professional organization. Once you join you will see that there are a lot of people who are there for you in your training, career, and personal life. We take pride in who we are and the reputation that we have built in over 100 years of volunteer service.
It is the Bayport Fire Department's policy to assure that applicants and it's members are treated during membership, without regard to their race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), color, age, national origin, or physical or mental disability. Such action shall include: employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer; recruitment or termination; selection for training, and ensuring and maintaining a work environment free of harassment, intimidation, and coercion at all sites and in all facilities at which employees are assigned to work.