Elfinwild VFC: 100% Volunteer, 100% Dedicated
EMERGENCY MEMBERS respond to emergencies and participate in the business activities of the company. Training requirements and timelines are set by the Fire Chief.
ADMINISTRATIVE MEMBERS participate in business and “in-house” activities that support the Emergency Responders. Administrative members may serve on committees and as officers (except the line officer positions that supervise and lead emergency activities.)
CADETS are new Administrative and Emergency members that serve an initial membership period of one year, and complete training and other activities needed to become an active member.
JUNIOR MEMBERS (15-18 years of age) may begin their training at the Allegheny County Fire Academy, and participate in company trainings, activities, and emergency calls in accordance with the restrictions of the Pennsylvania Child Labor Law. A work permit from your school district is required.
SPECIAL FIRE POLICE are Emergency Members who receive additional training to assist the Police Department with traffic and crowd control at the scene of an emergency or during planned community events.
Giving Back to the Community
Benefits of Membership
A Sense of Giving
Keeping Your Neighbors Safe
Being a firefighter is a lot of work, between training and emergency calls at all hours. But, the satisfaction of helping your community, helping that person in need, is a tremendous feeling!
Earned Income Tax Credit
Thanks, Commissioners and State Legislators!
The Shaler Township Commissioners have expressed their appreciation for volunteer firefighters with a township ordinance recognizing State Act 172 of 2016, providing tax credit up to $300 per year toward municipal earned income tax (wage tax). The volunteer must be a Shaler Township resident and meet department activity requirements to receive this tax credit.
Thanks, CCAC and Allegheny County!
The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) FireVEST program provides FREE tuition and fees leading to an associates degree for active volunteer firefighters who meet activity requirements in the department, achieve Firefighter I certification, and keep their grades up.
This scholarship can be used for any CCAC degree, many of which are transferable to other colleges and universities to complete a bachelor's degree.
There is no age limit, either!
Elfinwild VFC: 100% Volunteer, 100% Dedicated
I’d like to volunteer - what do I need to do?
STEPS IN YOUR APPLICATION PROCESS
Complete the application form
Meet with a small interview committee to discuss the company and your interests.
Your application will be read at the next business meeting (first Monday evening of the month) after your interview and clearances are received.
I'm under 18 years of age. What do I need to do to join?
In addition to the application process, above, you will need to obtain your work permit from the school district.
What can I do while I’m in the application process?
While you’re in the application process, there are two required online training courses that you can complete. These courses are available free of charge from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
You will be required to obtain a Student ID Number (SID) to take these courses. Please visit https://cdp.dhs.gov/FEMASID/ to obtain your SID.
Once you successfully complete your courses, you’ll receive a certificate via email. Please print out these certificates and give them to the Membership Committee, fire chief, or training officer.
My teenager would like to join. What should I know as a parent?
The PA Child Labor Law restricts the activities and hours performed by volunteer firefighters under the age of 18.
They are not permitted to:
Enter a burning building, confined space, or oxygen deficient atmosphere
Work on roofs
Operate certain tools and hoses, except under supervised training
Attend calls or activities after certain hours, especially on school nights
There are different Child Labor Law rules for junior members 14-15 years old, and 16-17 years old.
Junior members are visibly identifiable to officers and other firefighters to prevent them from being placed in dangerous conditions.
It sounds interesting, but I'm not sure that I could go into a burning building, and I really don't like ladders!
Rest assured, you'll go through a lot of training and practice before being permitted to enter a burning building. You'll also learn about the importance and limitations of the protective equipment, such as the breathing apparatus and "bunker gear" worn by interior firefighters.
There certainly are dangers. Our training, procedures, fireground management, and teamwork create the safest environment in which to work.
As far as the ladders go, we'll help you tame your ladder fear, as well as a few others!
What about training?
Training includes in-house drills and classes, as well as attending the Allegheny County Fire Academy in North Park. Classroom and drill ground sessions are necessary to understand important concepts such as safety, fire behavior, water systems, and skills such as using hoselines, ladders, power tools, and rescue equipment.
Firefighters completing their "Entry Level Firefighter" program at the academy are encouraged to complete the voluntary Firefighter I and II certification tests. The certification tests knowledge and skills outlined in the National Fire Protection Association NFPA 1001: Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications.
Some also attend Emergency Medical training at the Community College of Allegheny County and advanced firefighting training at the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy in Lewistown, PA. The National Fire Academy provides courses in leadership, management, community risk reduction, and incident command online or at the campus in Emmitsburg, MD.