Why should I apply to the fire department?
Volunteering at CTFD is an incredibly rewarding experience. Many Kenyon freshmen join the fire department to get hands on experience providing medical care. This is a great way for pre-med freshmen to figure out what type of health care they may want to pursue, and for those with no previous experience to discover an exciting career. Some students see volunteering on the department as a chance to learn practical life skills and as a counterbalance to Kenyon’s classroom-based learning. Others seek a chance to build a stronger connection with the community that surrounds and sustains Kenyon. All will learn the discipline and character required to serve those in need, as well as leadership skills that will help them in whatever career they pursue. Regardless of why they join, most students stay on the department for the same reason. After late nights tending to patients or being back-to-back on a hose line, you quickly learn that you have to depend on the men and women around you. Those who prove themselves worthy of this trust will develop a bond with their fellow firefighters that will last the rest of their lives.
How many applicants are there each year?
Each year approximately 12 Kenyon students apply in November at the end of our basic training. After an interview process 4-6 enthusiastic recruits are offered positions as probationary members of the College Township Fire Department. The number of recruits that are offered positions depends on the current needs of the department, as well as the quality of effort and enthusiasm displayed by individual recruits during basic training.
What should I expect as a recruit?
The recruitment process begins on the Sunday after the Kenyon College activities fair. Trainings are held each Sunday at Station 451 (located on E. Brooklyn Street). These trainings will include both lecture and hands-on practice covering a wide variety of EMS and fire topics. Weekly assignments may also be given that are to be completed before the next Sunday’s training. Recruits are highly encouraged to come down to the fire station to practice the skills they learn on Sundays. Fire department officers will hold interviews in November with recruits. Recruits will be assessed on overall performance and mastery of learned skills, attitude in and outside of trainings, interaction with fellow recruits and training officers, and enthusiasm for learning.
What is the time commitment as a recruit?
The time commitment is manageable with a full Kenyon College workload. There are trainings every Sunday starting at 1:00 PM, ending at roughly 4:00 PM. As a recruit you are strongly encouraged to seek out further training with department members during the week.
How will my responsibilities change from a recruit to being a probationary member?
As a probationary member you are expected to continue training with the other student members of the department on Sundays. In addition, you will have departmental trainings every Tuesday at 6:00 PM that last about two hours. Probationary members will be given pagers and will be on call every third day. On these days, you will be expected to respond to the station whenever we are called for an emergency, unless responding would interfere with class attendance. Generally, you will begin your EMT class in January. This class usually meets two to three times a week. Until you complete this class, you will serve as an observer during EMS emergencies. This will be an important opportunity for you to start learning proper patient care outside of the classroom.
Will I still be able to continue all of my classes at Kenyon as well as volunteer for the department?
Yes! As a probationary member, you will be taking EMT-Basic classes that meet twice a week at night accompanied with a small number of full day Saturday classes. The class typically starts in January and lasts through early April. You may also be able to receive Kenyon credit for the class. Most students complete the class while taking a full course load, with many participating in varsity sports or working on- campus jobs. Generally, people with good time management skills can easily handle the workload.
Will I still be able to participate in my sport/club/extracurricular while volunteering for the department?
Yes! We have had many members play varsity sports, participate in fraternities or a cappella groups, and hold campus jobs while volunteering for the department. Your responsibilities with the fire department can be quite time consuming, but as long as you can stay on top of your schedule and manage your time efficiently, there should be no problem with balancing your responsibilities.
Is volunteering as an EMT/Firefighter dangerous?
There are some risks inherent in the responsibilities of the EMT/Firefighter, however, safety is always our primary concern and we train extensively to prepare our members to operate safely in the back of the ambulance and on the fireground. Our department prides itself in going above and beyond the number of training hours designated by the federal government and the state of Ohio.
How long is the EMT-Basic Course and when do I take it?
The EMT-Basic course starts in January and ends in early April. Generally the class meets twice a week in the evening with the occasional full day Saturday class. You will also spend some observation time in a hospital, as well as at another fire department.
Will I still have free time if I decide to volunteer for the fire department?
Yes! All together, you will have approximately ten hours a week of scheduled responsibilities while on the department. You will also be responsible for responding to emergencies every third day. We average a little over one call a day and the average EMS call takes about 90 minutes. The length of fire calls is unpredictable. Good time management skills will help you to enjoy free time beyond your academic and fire department responsibilities.
Are there any membership fees?
There are no mandatory fees for the department. All required EMS and Fire equipment and training is provided by the department at no cost. Further training past the basic levels may also be covered by the department.
What is the annual run volume for the department?
College Township Fire Department is dispatched for approximately 400-450 emergencies each year. As with most fire/EMS departments across the United States, the majority of our emergencies are medical in nature. The remainder consists of motor vehicle collisions, structure fires, brush and trash fires, rescues, and public service calls.
What is an EMT and what are the different levels of certification for EMTs?
An EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician that provides Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in a pre-hospital setting. Each EMT is certified at a national and state level. There are three different EMT certifications: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, and EMT-Paramedic. All members are trained to the EMT-Basic level at a minimum. After completing this initial training, additional opportunities to train for the Intermediate or Paramedic certifications are available to interested members. EMT-Basics provide basic life support (BLS). EMT-Intermediates have first obtained their EMT-Basic certification, after which they have received additional training in certain advanced techniques including IVs and advanced medication administration. EMT-Paramedics have first obtained their EMT-Basic certification, after which they have trained for over a year in advanced pre-hospital care. They provide advanced life support (ALS) to patients for a wide variety of illnesses and injuries. Paramedics have a wider range of medications and procedures that they are allowed to perform than Intermediates.
What are the different levels of certification for Firefighters?
In the state of Ohio, there are three different certifications of Firefighting. All members of the fire department receive training to obtain their 36-hour Volunteer Firefighter certification, the minimum required by the state of Ohio. Firefighter I and II are the next two levels of certification, with Firefighter II being the highest (and required for most full-time firefighters). Firefighter I and II require 120 and 240 hours of training respectively, though most programs offer more hours for each level. Students who are interested in obtaining higher certifications are encouraged to seek these opportunities once they have completed their initial certification classes. Several student members of the fire department have attended the Ohio Fire Academy to obtain their Firefighter II certification.