When crisis strikes, whether fire, flood or earthquake, Douglas County relies on volunteers to respond.
The East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts rely on 99 volunteer firefighters to work alongside 57 paid staffers to respond to all kinds of emergencies.
Volunteer firefighters must undergo the same training as their paid brethren, and must keep up their certifications.
Last year, nearly two-dozen cadets participated in training, with 17 certified at the end of the six-month training period. It was the largest East Fork cadet class in years.
Cadet training begins in January after an orientation, which is scheduled for the first week in December, according to East Fork Deputy Chief Tim Soule.
“Folks can go to their neighborhood volunteer fire department or the district office if they’re interested or want more information,” he said.
With the stringent training and certification requirements, not everyone who wants to help can be a firefighter.
Volunteers are also being sought for the county’s Community Emergency Response Team training, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 16-17 at the Gardnerville Volunteer Fire Department, 1265 Douglas Ave.
Members of the team work to set up the Douglas County Emergency Management Center and serve in a number of capacities during disasters. Training qualifies residents to participate in the emergency response team, and provides information and experience to prepare for a disaster.
Information about how to apply to become a volunteer firefighter or a member of the emergency response team is available online at eastforkfire.org. Registration is required for CERT training. Call 783-6436 for additional information.
Packets to apply to be a volunteer firefighter are available at the East Fork District Offices, 1694 County Road, or at one of the township’s eight volunteer fire stations.
For more information, call the district office at 782-9040.