Rimes recruiting for the Reserve Volunteer Firefighter Program

Do you have what it takes for the Reserve Volunteer Firefighter Program? (Caloosa Belle/Amanda Nelson)

Do you have what it takes for the Reserve Volunteer Firefighter Program? (Caloosa Belle/Amanda Nelson)

Volunteer firefighters play a vital part in providing fire protection services for the community. In order to maintain safe emergency scene operations, it is necessary to have adequate staffing. Adequate staffing requires a considerable pool of trained, qualified and dedicated personnel who are available for immediate response.

LaBelle Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joshua Rimes has been working diligently to implement a reserve firefighter program that will establish a daily volunteer tour-of-duty (shift) schedule. These volunteer firefighters will work at the fire department for an assigned shift. This program will not stop the response of the department’s current on-call volunteers. It will simply add to the department’s ability to respond more efficiently.

The LaBelle Fire Department Reserve Volunteer Firefighter Program is a non-paid volunteer program. It is designed for individuals interested in providing community services that reduce property loss caused by fire, hazardous situations, injuries, deaths and other emergencies. Reserve firefighters provide essential functions that assist the department and the residents of LaBelle. They participate in training classes, community events, department drills and emergency response.

Chief Rimes is currently looking to recruit a minimum of thirty reserve firefighters. There are several advantages for both the fire department as well as for the volunteer. A few major benefits to the department include promoting community involvement, allowing for immediate emergency response, providing regular maintenance to the trucks and station, and allowing someone to be available at the station 24 hours each day. The volunteers will receive issued uniform t-shirt and personal protective gear, firefighting training, opportunities to maintain certifications, and gain experience that could assist with furthering their careers.

Reserve firefighter personnel must meet certain qualifications and possess the following certifications from the State of Florida in order to be eligible to participate in the selection process:
*Firefighter I and II (Certificate of Compliance)
*First Responder, EMT or Paramedic Certificate
*Hazardous Materials Awareness Certification
*American Heart Association CPR Certification
*Possession of a valid High School Diploma or GED equivalent
*Possession of a valid Florida Driver’s License
*Must meet LFD Firefighter Eligibility Standards
*Successfully pass the department Background Check
*Successfully pass the department drug test

This program is open to applicants residing in any county, but the individual must be able to report for their shift on time or secure a hold over until they can arrive. Applications are reviewed as they are received. Qualified applicants will be contacted when an opening becomes available. Candidates that meet the qualifications will be invited to an interview with the Fire Chief, Assistant Chief and Captain of Operation.

If you are interested in applying or would like further information, please contact Chief Joshua Rimes at 863-673-0468.

Amanda can be reached at cbnews@newszap.com

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