"Over 70 years of uninterrupted service..."
For more information please stop by the Woodbridge Firehouse any Tuesday at 7pm or call 203-927-1906.
Thinking about volunteering? Becoming a volunteer firefighter is a lot more than about fighting fires: the Woodbridge Fire Department is an integral part of life safety and property protection in the Town of Woodbridge. Below is a list of commonly asked questions regarding being a volunteer firefighter.
Is being a firefighter only about fighting fires?
Not at all. We respond to extrications, rescues, motor vehicles accidents, hazardous material spills, carbon monoxide alarms and a variety or public hazards. While everyone is trained to be a firefighter there are many other types of jobs within the department that you can do. We need apparatus drivers, pump operators, administrative, communications and scene safety personnel.
Do we stay at the firehouse waiting for a call to come in?
No. Since we are a volunteer department we do not do shift work at the firehouse. We each receive a pager that notifies us when to respond. When we get a page, we all respond to the firehouse to increase accountability and to reduce confusion and traffic, we do not drive our personal vehicles to the fire scene.
What type of training do I need? What will it cost me?
Each of us must complete Firefighter 1 within the first year of joining the department. This course is offered by the Valley Fire School, which is a Connecticut State certification course for interior structural firefighting. It provides training in the basics of fire behavior, building construction, personal protective equipment, firefighting appliances, search and rescue, and fire extinguishment. It is a 140 hour course generally held one night a week and on certain weekends. The cost of any training will be covered in full by the fire department. You are volunteering your time and expertise, not any funds.
Department specific training will occur at the firehouse or within town. Much of this training involves learning where equipment is on each truck. We have truck crew every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 7 pm where we break into teams and review the operational status of each vehicle and all of its equipment. Attending these truck crew evenings virtually guarantees basic knowledge of the specialized fire equipment.
Special training also occurs. Federal stature requires that we engage in quarterly structural firefighting training which could be as simple as training on air pack use to as complex as training at a live burn at the Fairfield Fire School in Fairfield, CT.
What if a fire call comes in while I am at work?
Nearly all of us volunteer firefighters have jobs outside of the department and we understand that not everyone will be able to respond to every call or perhaps even most. The role of a volunteer is to respond when you are available. We ask that you respond to 20% of the 350 to 400 calls we get each year. In 2005, a volunteer could have made this 20% by simply responding to calls between 6 pm and 6 am.
What type of outside jobs do the volunteers have?
It may surprise you to know that volunteers come from all different professions. We have teachers, computer specialists, construction workers, landscapers, real estate agents, retirees, and marketing professionals. What ties us together is our desire to serve our community and join a long line of professionals dedicated to saving lives and property.
What else is required of me?
In your first year as part of our organization, you are a probationary member. During this time we ask that you respond to 20% of calls, and 50% of truck crew evenings and bimonthly business meetings (both of which occur on Tuesday nights). In the business meetings, you will have no voting rights in company matters but are able to provide your perspective by asking a full member for his privilege. Essentially this is a year of learning and accountability. At the end of this year, you will be tested on your firefighting knowledge by the Executive board before being voted on for full membership.
Do we take part in community events?
Yes! We host a yearly carnival that serves both as a way to connect to the community and an important fund raiser for the department. We use our vehicles and manpower to help with DUI stops, the Woodbridge Fathers Baseball League and local road races. In one of the most fun events, we host Santa Claus at the firehouse where kids of all ages can come in and meet to portly spreader of holiday cheer. We also use this time of year to deliver gifts to the less fortunate of our area in one of our fire engines.