Becoming a volunteer firefighter in Park City takes dedication

By Kayla Lehman
Special to the Outlook

“You can never have enough [help], I believe, but if I had to put a number out there, 25 would be great for our department,” said Park City’s Volunteer Fire Department’s Chief Bryan Bartholomew during a recent interview.
There are currently 20 volunteer firefighters who make up Park City’s Volunteer Fire Department. Of those, most have families of their own. While training and volunteering take time away from being at home, the volunteers understand how vital the services they provide are to the community.
In Park City, volunteer firefighters are required to spend 30 hours training each fiscal year, attend maintenance and business meetings every month, and respond to emergency calls when they are available. Meetings and training account for at least eight hours every month. That doesn’t include classes, special meeting and extra trainings. The time invested by each volunteer is dictated by work and family schedules, out of necessity and most of the volunteers bring their children along for cleaning days and to the fundraisers.
“We do 75 percent of the training in-house and the other 25 percent is done by other agencies and training programs,” explained the Chief. “We train you in all the basics. Then you advance from there. We train on as much as we possibly can, training on hose and nozzle tactics to driving and maintaining the trucks and hall.” Maintenance checks are performed monthly on all the equipment.
The first step to become a volunteer firefighter is completing the department application. Applicants are required to be at least 18. Then, there are two separate interviews. The first is held with the officers of the department and the second takes place at a department business meeting. After the meetings, an applicant may be offered a position. Once an invitation to join the department is made, the real work begins.
The first six months of a new firefighter’s term is a probationary period. After six months, an evaluation will determine if the rookie will be extended an offer to stay on.
The Park City Volunteer Fire Department operates on tax money collected each year. Fundraisers throughout the year help raise money for the purchase of new equipment for the department. Park City’s department recently purchased a new flotation pump with fundraising proceeds. The pump allows firefighters to suction water directly from a body of water without the need for additional priming, as with an ordinary pump, saving time during an emergency.
The PCVFD always welcomes applicants. For more information or to apply call 628-2015.

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