Your fire department needs you!
Interested? Learn how to apply here!
You received the postcard in the mail because you live within the Foothills Fire Protection District. This means that when you call 911 when your smoke detector sounds an alarm, there is a high probability that the men and women who show up to your house are unpaid volunteers. We need volunteers—men and women who live in our district.
Most of our current volunteers have full-time jobs as engineers, teachers, small-business owners,and many other professions. Some of our volunteers are retired or nearing retirement, while others are in their twenties. Many of our volunteers have children; three have toddlers less than 2 years old. We have four couples on the department, as they've found volunteering and training to be a fun way to spend quality time together.
What unifies us is our common desire to help people whom we’ve never met and are often having the worst day of their life. Working side-by-side with each other in a variety of situations unifies our team in indescribable ways. Spending our free time giving back meaningfully builds second families for our firefighters, and it's the most common reason people volunteer.
Importantly, we are on call on our own schedule, which we determine. Our schedule is incredibly flexible. We have annual requirements which can be met as early or late in the year as needed to accommodate our personal lives. We carry radios and go about our regular lives when we're on call, as long as we stay within the district when on a shift. Most of our volunteers go on call on the weekends, evenings, and overnight...whenever we are able and don’t plan to leave the district. If a call comes in, we typically report to the nearest station and jump on a truck to go to the scene.
In a typical year, our department responds to over 800 calls. Many calls are medically related, some are traffic accidents, some are lost or stranded hikers on our many trails, and some are actual fires. We cover I-70 between the Morrison and Evergreen exits, which alone generates a large volume of calls of all varieties. This year has been particularly troublesome with wildland fires. The Apex Park fire was the most recent, and most unexpected given that we had received over 12" of snow recently. The Cabrini fire, while ultimately the smallest, had the highest initial potential for spreading given the wind speeds. The Bald Mountain fire put the most homes at risk, so we called in four aircraft to help support our efforts. This included one Boeing 737, one twin-engine plane, and two helicopters. For Apex and Bald Mountain we received mutual aid from many other surrounding departments, just as we provide to them when requested.
Our district is complicated. With I-70 passing through the middle of many homes, acres of fields, and miles of trails, we must be trained in ways most paid departments are not. We learn about hazardous materials, structure fires, car fires, extrication, emergency medical response, and wildland fires, among other things. We’ve recently improved our academy to allow new recruits to TAKE CALLS IMMEDIATELY on the first day. There is no better way to get familiar with the department than to get involved right away. There are officers and mentors with you from day one. Once you’ve finished academy, you’re free to pursue any number of additional certifications across the department based on your interests. You’re also free to not pursue anything other than taking calls and having fun with your fellow firefighters! Academy lasts a while because we want to spread out the classroom work since attendance is required. We've found that one of the challenges for new recruits is attendance at required Saturday training. As a result, we've spread it out as much as possible. There is no reason to rush through any training or certification.
Interested? Learn how to apply here!