Belle Valley Junior Firefighting Program was started in late 2006. The program was designed for three reasons
The main thing a volunteer fire department needs is people. Without them, the trucks and equipment are useless. Recruiting young adults and getting them involved at an early age and keeping them interested almost ensures their participation after graduating from high school. Not only is that a benefit for the fire department, but it benefits the community also.
Teaching the Junior members the fundamentals of firefighting, emergency medical care and rescue techniques is a major portion of this program. Training sessions set up around their ability as well as with the experienced firefighters gives them a nice mix of training.
Everything we do with these Juniors will help to develop them into well-rounded adults. Camaraderie, social & vocational skills and the experiences they encounter will help steer these young men and women to the career of their choice.
The Juniors meet every Wednesday at 7pm (other training/meetings are periodically scheduled). To be a member, you must be between the ages of 16-18 years old. You are required to obtain working papers from your school and maintain a “C” average while in the program. This program is governed under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Child Labor Law as well as specific rules and procedures set forth by the Belle Valley Fire Department. There is no charge to be a member in the program.
After joining the program, a Junior will be issued a set of full firefighting gear. An orange helmet differentiates them from the senior firefighters who wear black helmets. They may also be given a pager to monitor calls from the dispatch center.
Training varies from fire suppression to rescue to EMS. They will either train along side the experienced firefighters or have a training session on their own. They get to train on a majority of the equipment that the regular members do. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania dictates what equipment they are permitted to train on, and what they are not.
After they are trained to our satisfaction, they are then permitted to respond on calls. Again, the Commonwealth dictates what calls they are permitted on. They are not permitted to fight a live fire, or be in an unsafe situation.
As a Junior member they get the full use of the building, free training, and get to participate in the same events and activities as our regular members.
If your interested in become a member of the Junior Firefighting program or would like more information, please visit the recruitment inquiry page or call (814) 825-4359 or stop by the fire station.