Just about everyone! We have both male and female firefighters who range in age from 18 into their 70s. Our members reside in Upper Makefield as well as our surrounding communities, responding to our fire stations at: 1221 Taylorville Rd. and 1076 Eagle Rd.
What qualifications do I need to join UMFC?
Apart from good health, the most important qualifications are motivation, a true desire to help your neighbors and your ability to work in a dynamic team environment. There are minimum age requirements of 14 for junior members and 18 for active firefighters. Apart from that, there are no other qualifications needed, E.g. previous firefighting experience needed to join UMFC.
What training / equipment is provided when becoming a UMFC firefighter?
Once you’re a member, you will be provided with all required firefighting gear, and you’ll need to achieve your Firefighter 1 designation via a Bucks County Community College sponsored no-cost training program that’s a combination of classroom learning and drills. Training classes are offered 3 times a year, lasting ~ 3 months, with scheduling options geared for working adults or students still in school. At the same time, you’ll learn from UMFC firefighters as you ride along on calls. After Firefighter 1, there will be opportunities for you (if you desire) to extend your skill sets.
What will I do as a volunteer firefighter?
UMFC provides the following services. All members become certified in fire suppression (Firefighter 1). Then, should you choose, there are optional additional training you can take to gain new skills and certifications.
- Fire Suppression
- Vehicle rescue / entrapment
- Swiftwater / marine rescue
- Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Response
- Search and Rescue
- Apparatus driver / operator
- Officer / emergency management
How many hours must UMFC volunteer firefighters commit too?
We do not require any minimum number of hours per week or month, your time commitment is determined by you. Our volunteers have; job, family and personal responsibilities, all appropriately prioritized before our volunteer commitments. We hold twice-monthly drills, periodic community activities and monthly general meetings. Our members participate at varying levels as their schedule allows.
Are members required to be “on call” at certain times?
No, there are no set nor required “on call” shift obligations. Members are given pagers that activate when a UMFC call is dispatched. We also use text messaging systems that can be set up on your phone. In an average year, we respond to ~240 emergency calls 24/7/365 and our members respond as their schedule allows.
Do volunteer firefighters get paid?
While we are not “paid” by the Fire Company, Upper Makefield Township has graciously provided funds to enhance our membership; Recruitment, Retention and Response rates. Currently, we offer a modest stipend program available for our Active firefighters. We can share details of the current program with you during the application process.
What are the best aspects of being a volunteer firefighter?
Helping our neighbors in their time of need is immensely rewarding. We know we’re making a difference. Beyond that, our members appreciate the camaraderie and friendship we all share. We have fun together—and we’re incredibly serious when we need to be.
Can a volunteer position lead to a career in firefighting?
Yes, but most of our members do not go in this direction given they’re already in other careers. That being said, volunteer firefighting can be an excellent stepping-stone to a paid firefighting role, given the training and experience you’ll gain. In addition, your volunteer firefighting experience can provide leadership and decision-making skills that can be leveraged in any career—and valued by prospective employers.
What is the next step for learning more or applying for membership?
Contact us. We can arrange a date / time for you to come by the station and meet some of our volunteers, ask more questions and take a tour. If you decide that UMFC is a place for you, we’ll give you an application to start our membership process.
Email our membership committee: Volunteer@umfc.org