Frequently Asked Questions



The reasons for wanting to become a fire fighter or emergency medical responder are as diverse as our volunteers. For some, it is the realization of a childhood dream; for others it is the desire to give back to our community or to make a difference in the lives of others. Some of us have friends or relatives who have encouraged us to “Answer the Call”. Whatever your reason may be, you probably have many questions. We have compiled the following list of the most frequently asked questions of prospective volunteers. Be sure to call Chief Kinnally at 715-453-4867 if you have additional questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Do I always have to be at home or at the station in case there is a call?

 

No, you are equipped with a pager to notify you of a call. You respond to the station from where ever you are. You make as many calls as you can. Some people work out of the area and are only available at certain times of the day. Others are able to leave work to respond.

 

Can I join if I do not have any experience?

 

Yes. The department will send you to the proper training, Firefighter basic training is 60 hours. Emergency Medical First Responder basic training is 45 hours. The department also holds monthly training and special training as needed.

 

Do you get paid for being a volunteer member?

 

The members are paid based on the time they put in and it is not a lot of money, but the rewards are great, the feeling of helping your community and someone in need, and the friendships that you will make can last forever. The Town also makes a contribution Length of Service Award program (retirement account).

 

How often does the department get called out?

 

We average about 90 to 110 calls a year, approximately 60% of the calls are Emergency Medical calls. Calls run in streaks, you may have two or three calls in one day or go for weeks without a call.

 

How much time will I be expected to give as a member?

 

The exact time requirements vary, depending on what level you are participating at, Firefighter, Emergency Medical First Responder, or Fire Ground support. The department meets on Monday evenings for the monthly meeting and various trainings. We also have projects and required maintenance scheduled throughout the month. Expect a minimum of 10 hrs a month, plus calls.

 

Who provides insurance coverage for my activities as a volunteer?

 

The Town of Nokomis provides insurance coverage for volunteer members. Coverage includes liability, worker’s compensation, and accidental death and disability coverage while involved in fire department activities.

 

Do I need to live in the Town of Nokomis?

 

No, you do not need to live in the Town of Nokomis, but you must be within 15 minutes of the fire station. Of course it would be best to live in the town or close to the station.

 

Is it possible for me to concentrate my participation and specialize in either fire or emergency medical service, or must I participate in both areas?

 

Yes, you can be either fire or EMS or both. The department provides both fire and EMS service for the community. We currently have members that do specialize in either fire or EMS, and some members are both. Our pagers do have separate alert tones so only the members that need to be paged for the type of emergency receive the page.

 

Are there age restrictions for volunteers?

 

Yes, You must be 18 years old to be a firefighter or Emergency Medical First Responder. We have no maximum age for membership. We also have a junior member program for young adults ages 14 to 18 years of age.

 

Can I be a member if I don’t want to go into burning buildings?

 

Yes, There are many jobs other than entering a building. We have Emergency Medical First Responder positions and support positions including Fire Ground Support positions like pump operators, tanker drivers, and other fire ground activities.