Posted: Thursday, March 14th 2013 at 2:39pm
Dawson Co. looks for volunteer firefighters
By B.J. Williams Editor
DAWSONVILLE - Budget constraints have Dawson County Emergency Services looking for volunteer firefighters outside of the county for the first time.
The Dawson County Fire Department is a hybrid department, employing both career and volunteer firefighters. Typically, the department holds a volunteer firefighting class once a year, targeting in-county residents.
Fire Chief Lanier Swafford said now people have more volunteer opportunities than ever before, so it has become more difficult to recruit volunteer firefighters.
"We felt, you know, that there might be others out there who maybe don't live in the county who weren't aware that such an opportunity was available who would be interested in participating," said Swafford.
Granted, training is a big component of a firefighter's job, so Swafford said a volunteer has to be committed to the task.
"There's a lot of sacrifice involved," said Swafford. "There's a lot of personal initiative that's got to be involved in it and there's also got to be a heart to want to help others."
Swafford said he's hoping at least 25 applicants will take an upcoming class that begins on April 11. He said the classes start out with the basics, but once a volunteer is fully trained, that firefighter will be ready for most emergency situations.
"As the course progresses, there will be different levels during the program where the physical requirements will increase and by the time they complete [the course]...they'll need to be able to complete the same physical requirements that a career firefighter will," said Swafford.
Dawson County volunteer firefighters are eligible for pay per call, participation in the Georgia Firefighters Pension Fund; they are covered by workers compensation, accident and sickness insurance and are eligible for other benefits, according to a press release from the county.
Completed applications are due by March 29, according to the county, an applications are available via the county web site. A link to the site is posted below.
Link: Dawson County web site
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