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Opportunities abound with Hoodland Fire District posted on 12/01/2017

Hoodland Fire District (HFD) Lieutenant/Paramedic Andy Figini sees a lot more opportunity now for the district’s volunteers than in the past, thanks to having paid staff on duty 24 hours a day. Now, since paid staff is always around and respond to calls, volunteers have that chance to go with them.

“We’re here, so if you’re here with us, you’re going to go,” Figini said.

That’s good news for anyone who wants to sign on, as the district is now accepting applications for the 2018 training company. Applications are due to the district’s main station, 69634 E. Hwy. 26 in Welches, on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Figini also noted more opportunities for volunteers to select a specific track, or focus, they’d like to pursue, such as focusing on being a firefighter (including medical and fire combat), a driver track or other options.

“We want anybody who can participate to participate,” Figini said. “You can go down any track you want to go down.”

The academy will meet up to three times per week and on some weekends, and applicants must be at least 18 years old with a valid Oregon Drivers License, have no criminal background, be able to pass the drug test, pass the physical agility test and pass the background search.

Figini notes that the district seeks people who are established in their careers and would like to serve as community responders and those who are looking at a possible career as a firefighter and want to get experience, training and certification for a future job. He added that it’s helpful to have some people from both groups, while adding that a number of volunteers have been hired by other fire districts after serving in the HFD.

Figini added that volunteers will also get the opportunity to work a shift with the paid staff, performing daily tasks such as rig checks while eating and working out as part of the crew.

“You come in, you are part of the shift,” he said. “It allows us to get more done in a day. Shifts are great, I like doing shifts.”

Figini also noted that there are other ways to get involved in the district besides volunteering, including the district’s support group, which provides meals for firefighters when there is a fire, and the HEART team, which offers training for community disasters.

“We have different levels of participation, we’ll find a place for almost anybody,” he said.

Applications for the HFD volunteer academy may be picked up at the main station.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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