The Weston Volunteer Fire Department is looking for a few new good members. So it is putting out a call to all mothers, fathers and adults in the Weston community who might be interested in volunteering with the fire department.
“Many people do not realize that the fire department in Weston is 100% run by volunteers. But we are, and every couple of years we need to do a membership drive in order to get new members,” said firefighter Lou Dempsey.
The fire department currently has about 50 active members. The number declines each year as older members step down, and others move away. So new members are always welcome.
In an effort to recruit new members, the department is holding an informational session on Tuesday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Station 2 on Lyons Plain Road.
It is also going to have an informational table set up outside the Norfield fire station following the Memorial Day ceremony after the parade on Monday, May 25.
“We’re serving hot dogs and refreshments after the parade, so it’s a good time to stop by and learn more about volunteer opportunities with the fire department,” Dempsey said.
The goal is to field a firefighting class of eight to 12 new recruits in September. “Volunteering with the fire department is something you can do with friends, and it’s also a great way to make new friends, and do something positive for the community,” Dempsey said.
Becoming a certified firefighter is a practical life skill, and all new recruits receive training in order to be certified at a minimum in Firefighter Level 1. Training involves classroom work as well as practical work with ladders, search and rescue, hazardous material training, motor vehicle accident response, and proper firefighting techniques.
Weston Fire Chief John Pokorny said volunteering with the department is perfect for people who are in town all day or have a home office in Weston.
But the department also welcomes members who have jobs outside Weston. “We can work around someone’s schedule,” Dempsey said.
Dempsey has been with the fire department for 11 years. When he started a new job he had to do a lot of traveling during the week, but he still managed to complete his firefighter training. “Once the training is complete, firefighting is not a heavy burden,” he said.
The requirements to stay active in the department are to do seven monthly drills and seven weekly drills (held every Thursday), over the course of a year. The rewards are helping people in need and possibly saving someone’s home or life on a fire call.
“We welcome new members,” said Craig Cohen, WVFD president. “It’s an incredible organization with tremendous people who care about the town of Weston and have found a way to give back. It’s a calling for a lot of the people who have joined,” he said.
In addition to going on fire calls, volunteers help people with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and give fire safety talks at the schools. “There’s something here for everybody,” Pokorny said.
For more information on joining the WVFD, call 203-222-2647 or visit wvfd.com.