Student Firefighter Program
The purpose of the Student Firefighter Program is to provide hands-on training as well as classroom instruction to eligible high school students that are interested in pursuing a career in the fire service. Skills that are learned in the program could strengthen the desire of high school students to help others and help them develop a better understanding of the role and responsibilities fire personnel hold in the community. The program provides high school students with a safe and structured environment where they will learn valuable skills and receive guidance and mentoring to help them later in life.
It shall be the policy of West Side RFPD to provide standardized rules, regulations, and guidelines for the administration and operation of the Student Firefighter Program. This program will be open to any applicant sixteen (16) years of age to eighteen (18) years of age, currently attending high school or Oregon State approved academic program.
Any person regardless of race, creed, religion, or gender, who is of good character, shall be eligible for membership. Prospective student members must meet the following qualifications:
- Must be at sixteen (16) to eighteen (18) years of age.
- Must reside in or close proximity to District boundaries.
- Must be able to speak, read, write and understand English fluently.
- Must be of good moral character and have acceptable social and work references.
- Must be able to physically perform the duties and responsibilities of an emergency responder.
- Must possess a valid Oregon driver’s license.
- Must have an acceptable driving record and acceptable criminal background. (Background investigation criteria for rejection: any felony conviction, any current or recent suspension or restriction of driver’s license which is the result of legal action be it a court or administrative agency, or any recent criminal activity that is determined by the Fire Chief to be undesirable).
- Must be willing to abide by departmental By-Laws, Policies and District Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG’s).
- Enroll in the Hood River Valley High School Student Firefighter class or equivalent.
- Achieve and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA with no failing grades.
- All applicants for the Student Firefighter Program follow the process outlined by their respective agency.
- The application will be reviewed by the Fire Chief and the applicant will be contacted.
- The applicant is recommended to observe some regular training sessions.
- The applicant and parent/guardian will be interviewed.
- A background investigation and reference check may be made.
- If recommended by the Fire Chief, the applicant will begin their Student Firefighter training.
- The applicant will be required to complete a New Member Orientation.
- Student membership is contingent on parental permission and suitable academic progress and may be revoked by a student’s parent/guardian at any time for any reason.
- A chief’s letter allowing participation in the High School Student Firefighter program will be required prior to registering for credit.
Student Firefighter Conduct
- As a member of the department, student firefighters will conduct themselves in such a way as to bring credit to the department.
- Student’s firefighters will refrain from the use of profane language at scenes and/or in the presence of the public.
- The use of drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco products by student firefighters is expressly forbidden.
- Student firefighters shall not engage in disorderly conduct while wearing any clothing or insignia of the Fire Department.
- Student firefighters shall not make statements representing the Department to the public or press without authorization.
- Student firefighters shall conduct themselves as professionals at all times.
- No horseplay or abuse will be allowed involving the Department or equipment.
- Students will not enter or attempt to enter any restricted or unauthorized areas of the fire stations.
Required Attendance and Training
During the student period, a student member is required to complete the following:
- Attend weekly drills.
- Regular response to emergency calls.
- Attend one hundred (100) percent of department fundraisers unless excused.
- Students affiliated with the High School program will maintain regular attendance at high school lunch meetings and attend 100 percent of fundraisers or events unless pre-excused.
- Learn apparatus call signs and which apparatus responds to various types of calls.
- Learn where all tools, equipment and supplies are located on all fire apparatus.
- Be familiarized with EMS equipment.
- Become CPR certified (when available).
- Obtain Bloodborne Pathogens certification (when available).
- Complete Hazardous Materials Awareness
- Student Firefighters are encouraged to attend the fire academy at their earliest convenience.
Rules and Duties
- The student may not leave school for any fire or EMS calls.
- The student will not operate any agency apparatus or equipment without permission from a Chief Officer, Company Officer or Advisor.
- The student will not enter a structure fire or IDLH atmosphere.
- The student will maintain good conduct, appearance, school grades, and citizenship.
- The student must show consistent attendance and participation in departmental activities.
Uniforms and Clothing
Student Firefighters will be issued the following:
- Turnout pants – turnout jacket – black helmet- Nomex hood – structure firefighting gloves – boots
- Department shirt – hat
Students shall maintain such equipment as prescribed by their department. Equipment storage and use is regulated by the district. It is recommended that PPE not be kept in personal vehicles. Equipment shall be returned at the request of the agency.
Student firefighters will be graded on the following:
- Ability to work with others
- Following guidelines, policies and procedures
- Extra credit will be given for classes taken outside the Department
Each Student Firefighter must maintain a grade point of at least 2.5 GPA with no failing grades. Students who do not maintain the required GPA will be placed on probation until such GPA is obtained. Students will be required to turn in progress reports to their advisor at the first department training of each month.
If a student firefighter falls below at 2.5 GPA or has any failing grades that student will:
- Not respond on any calls.
- Attend drill every week, absences will be granted with the Advisors approval.
Completion of High School
Upon completion of the above requirements and graduation from high school, the student member will need to complete all respective agency requirements and/or submit an application to become a regular member.
All Student Firefighters shall be required to operate under the accepted operating guidelines of West Side RFPD. Failure to accept or adhere to any guideline as established shall be just cause of corrective action.