Randolph Township Fire
Ironia Fire Company #4

Become a Volunteer Firefighter

What it's About

Firefighting is one of the most honorable acts a human being can embark upon. Based upon a military foundation, a firefighter is a role model, a public friend, a property protector and most importantly a life saver. When a person is in danger they seek another, not just anyone though; they need one who has empathy along with strength. A firefighter lends their hand offering this. In many ways a firefighter has always been the hallmark of courage, strength, and the preservation of life. It takes a certain kind of person to have the passion to embrace all of these values along with the courage to face some of man's greatest dangers. When people are running out of a burning building, we, as firefighters are running in. We do it not because it is fun, and not because of its reputation, we do it because we are firemen. Within every person lies these values, it is those who choose to embrace it with training that we call firemen. We do it for the deeper meaning behind the stature, to make a difference and to protect. We never do it alone, we do it as a team. This team is more than just co-workers, this team is a family - a brotherhood (and sisterhood). Although we are unified, every individual within makes a difference. When this team becomes one entity, we call it a fire department.


-John Albanese. (Randolph Fire Department, 2008)

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but acknowledging there is something more important and then acting upon it" 
                                                                                                                                                      -Unknown Author

Becoming a firefighter will introduce you to a whole new set of respected values. You will: 

  • Find courage within yourself
  • Learn teamwork
  • Helping another
  • Finding selflessness
  • Growing as a person
  • Maturity
  • Discover a role model within you

What It Takes 

Being a firefighter takes a lot of hard work and discipline. It is not impossible, because you have it in you, as long as you can say you have these values or wish to strengthen these areas:

      • The will to make a difference
      • Courage 
      • Ability to be a role model
      • Ability to be a part of a team

      Our job isn't always glorious either. We don't fight fires every single day like in the movies. The way Hollywood depicts firefighting a little bit different than the way it really is. Although, there is definitely truth to every fire movie. Even on occasion there have been incidents where they were more exciting than what Hollywood could ever imagine!


      What You Get In Return

      This job is also very rewarding! In return for becoming a firefighter you will strengthen these areas in your life:

      • Discipline
      • Structure 
      • Becoming a role model
      • Appreciation for life and property
      • Respect
      • Strength
      • Becoming part of a brotherhood
      • Knowledge
      • Training
      • Wisdom
      • Passion




      The Process of Joining


      1. Show up to that firehouse on a Monday night around 7pm - 9pm. 
      2. You will be assisted on going to town hall for an interview with the Department Chief.
      3. You will then be sworn in as a firefighter of Randolph Fire Department.
      4. You will return to your new firehouse.
      5. You will meet with your officers, and be introduced the current members there.
      6. You will be issued fire gear and taught the rules of the firehouse.
      7. You will be issued a pager.
      8. At this point you will be a probationary member 
      9. You get a yellow probationary tag
      10. You now get to participate!




      This doesn't mean that you can go inside of a burning building or any other hazardous area yet, although you will still be very important! You will be assisting outside of the 'hot zone' with tools, and gaining valuable experience.

      You will also be training like everyone else. For 6 months you will have the chance to prove yourself.


      Attend as many Monday night meetings as possible, but if you can't make it we still appreciate whatever time you do give. When you pager goes off at any other time you will respond to the firehouse (following all traffic laws).

      New Jersey State Law says nothing about firefighters being allowed to go over the speed limit, pass cars in the opposite lane, run stop signs and red lights in their personal vehicles!

      When you get to the firehouse you will put on your gear and respond in the fire truck. You will assist on how your company trains you. However you can't drive to the scene in your own vehicle.

      You may try and sign up for fire academy (Firefighter 1). The department will help you and guide you along the way.

      Once you pass fire school, you will be issued a green tag.

      This means you are allowed to enter the 'hot zone' or go inside structure fires. 

      After your 6 month period you will be voted in as a full member and get access to the building.

       You then can apply for a blue light permit. This still does not give you the right to break any traffic laws. It is a courtesy light. That means that you are making other drivers aware you are going to an incident, it doesn't mean you can force them off the road! Click here to view NJ Traffic Laws in accordance to Blue Lights.

      You are now a full member.

      You can move up in the department, maybe one day you will be chief!


      Is Firefighting in Randolph Right For You?

      The youngest age a person may join the fire department is 16 years old. Ethnicity, and gender make no difference. If you want to make a difference and be a firefighter, you are important no matter what! You do not need to be already trained. If you have no prior experience, we will put you through school for no charge! The town appreciates it's volunteers, and therefore pays for their education to protect its town. If you have gone through fire academy already, you will need your certifications in paper form to present to the department chief. They will make the decision if it is equivalent to our firefighter 1 certification (to be an interior attack firefighter).

      Junior Firefighter 1 is a new program provided by the Morris County Firefighter Academy. This program is designed for volunteer firefighters who are under the age of 18, and over the age of 16. It is still a 150 hour course that is almost exactly the same to firefighter 1. Parental consent is needed. Although you are under the age of 18, this course is still as rigorous as the adults version. 


      Upon completion of this course, you will be given a green tag. This means that you are a certified firefighter! You will receive a diploma from the fire academy, which means you have just begun your journey to being a true firefighter. You will be able to 'pack up'. In other words, you will be able to now put an air tank on your back and enter houses that pose a threat (working fire, carbon monoxide, automatic fire alarm, etc.) Entering these houses requires you to wear an air pack, hence the word 'packing up'.


      Training doesn't stop there! There are many other courses that are essential for you to take. Although, these courses are not as long and rigorous as firefighter 1. Some only take a day, and other classes take a week. By your third year, and keeping up with certifications and classes you will have an entire wall filled with diplomas and certifications!



      Difference Between Volunteer and Career Firefighting

      There is barely a difference! There is this general misconception that paid firefighters are "real" firefighters. Volunteer firefighters do the exact same job, wear the exact same gear, train the exact same way, and perform the exact same tasks. The only difference is that paid firefighters are paid to stay at their station for a certain amount of time, and MUST go to every call they are dispatched to in that time period

      Volunteer firefighters are given a pager to wear on their belt. They can go about their everyday lives. When there is a firecall, whether it be a fire alarm or the biggest structure fire the county has seen, the pager alerts them. It is THEIR choice to respond. If they are feeling ill, or busy they do not need to respond. They wont get in trouble for it!

      In conclusion, the only difference is that volunteer firefighters do it for free on their spare time, and are not required to respond, while paid firefighters are paid and have an obligation to respond during their shift. That's it!

      "The funny thing about firemen is that no matter what time or day, they will always be firemen"

      So Are You In? 

      After you have read this, and feel that this is your calling - fill out the form below and/or show up on a Monday night.. We need more good people like you! How do we know? Because you are already taking the time to read this. It's time to step up to the plate and show everyone that you have it in you. Make sure to visit our photo gallery, and maybe your face can be seen amongst us.


      Author: John Albanese (32-421)

      Photos Courtesy of Brian Monck
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