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HELP IS NEEDED, AND WE WANT YOU!

While more than 90 percent of Pennsylvania's 2,462 fire companies are volunteer, the number of volunteer firefighters has shrunk by more than half over the past 20 years -- from an estimated 152,000 in 1985 to an estimated 70,000 today. Simultaneously, the number of emergency calls has increased by 48%. Conservatively speaking, volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel save Pennsylvania taxpayers $5 billion every year.

If you are at least 14 years old and willing to give your time to serve your fellow citizens as a firefighter, emergency medical provider, or an administrative person the Gallatin Sunnyside Volunteer Fire Department is looking for you. From High School and College students, new or moving to the area, or life-long area residents, if you've got the time to dedicate to your community we'd love to have you!

 

Becoming a Member at Gallatin Sunnyside Volunteer Fire Department can get you a FREE  College Education through Community College of Allegheny County. (Look below for more details.)

Gallatin Sunnyside VFD has four membership categories, Junior Firefighter, Active Firefighter, Associate Firefighter and Administrative Member.

 

Junior Firefighters are young men and young women from the ages of 14 - 17 years old. These members are limited by the Child Labor Laws; this is primarily a training/learning position. These members learn the basics of the fire service and the equipment that is used from day-to-day. They are able to attend local and state level certification courses.

Active Firefighters are men and women 18 years or older. These members are the men and women that provide the fire suppression, rescue services, and medical care to the sick or injured. Each member is trained on an in-house, local, and state level. There are also opportunities for National Certifications. Active firefighters are required to attend courses to learn the basic firefighting techniques and emergency first aid & CPR.

Associate Firefighters are men and women 18 years or older. These members are trained firefighters with other departments who want to help our department as much as they can by providing fire suppression, rescue services, and medical care to the sick or injured. Each member is trained on an in-house, local, and state level. There are also opportunities for national certifications. These Members do not have any voting rights and cannot hold any positions within the fire department but are eligible for all the perks of helping the community like the Active Firefighters.

Administrative Members are men and women 18 years or older. These members are men and women who do not wish to participate in the firefighting aspects of the department; however, they do wish to participate in fundraisers, financial aspects, and other public services provided by the department. Administrative Members are only required to actively participate in support functions of the department.


INTERESTED IN BEING A FIREFIGHTER?

So, you’re interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter, and you’re curious to know what being a firefighter is all about? Well, you have come to the right place to get an understanding on what we do in our daily lives.

The firefighters at the Gallatin Sunnyside Volunteer Fire Department come from both within the Township of Forward, and the surrounding area. Our company is comprised of numerous people in many different professions which include Emergency Dispatchers, Heavy Equipment Operators, laborers, welders, accountants, chefs, business owners, paramedics and EMT’s. These people all have the same dedication, to help the residents of Forward Township and surrounding communities. The following should help to explain any questions you would have.

Q: How do I get started in becoming a firefighter at Gallatin Sunnyside?
A: All it takes is downloading the Application online, filling it out and then returning it to the station, or stopping by the station and asking for an application (Must be at least 14 years of age)

Q: What comes next?
A: After we receive your completed application, it will be presented to our Standing Committee for review at which time you will be contacted for an interview. After the interview your application is then presented to the general membership at a regular company meeting to be voted on so that you can begin your membership with our organization. (Accepted applicants serve a 1 year probationary period.)

Q: Do I need any prior experience?
A: No, you don’t have to have any previous experience to join our organization. We will provide the essential training you will need at no cost to you.

Q: What about protective clothing?
A: The Department provides all essential protective clothing to all of its members.

Q: What can I do once I join?
A: Depending on the amount of training you have, determines the level of activity that you will be able to perform at. However, no matter what amount of training you have, everyone is needed to help. Just because you are a member of the Fire Department, doesn't mean you have to go into the burning buildings. Members are also needed for administrative functions and to help with fundraising.

Becoming a volunteer firefighter is a great learning experience. Not only are you learning a trade that will help people, but you will also be providing a service to the community... and that’s what we’re all here to do!

Still interested? – Get your application today!

To join, please download a MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION, fill it out and email it to membership@gsvfd154.org or drop it off to our headquarters located at 3325 Rainbow Run Road, Monongahela Pa 15063.

You may also mail your application to:

Gallatin Sunnyside VFD
Attn: Membership Committee
3325 Rainbow Run Road
Monongahela, Pa 15063

If you have questions, you may either contact us at (724)-258-5240 or by email at membership@gsvfd154.org

 

FireVEST Scholarship Program: Training Tomorrow’s Heroes

In Allegheny County, volunteer firefighters protect over 910,000 people. In addition, volunteer firefighters save the county an estimated $60 million dollars a year. There are 203 volunteer fire companies in Allegheny County and the challenge of keeping these companies fully staffed, well trained and ready to respond at a moment’s notice is one that nearly every fire company in the region addresses on a regular basis.

Because fire companies are essential to ensuring safe and well-protected communities, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, the Allegheny County Fire Academy and CCAC are working together to offer the Allegheny County Fire Volunteer Education, Service & Training Scholarship Program (FireVEST) that provides full scholarships for an associate’s degree or certificate program at CCAC, as well as training at the Allegheny County Fire Academy.

Of the 200 scholarships offered per year, 150 are for new recruits in exchange for a commitment of five years of service to a volunteer fire department in Allegheny County, while 50 scholarships will be awarded to existing volunteers in exchange for a commitment of five additional years of service.

Program Requirements

Scholarship applicants must be residents of Allegheny County and either be a current volunteer or have joined a volunteer fire department in Allegheny County. Applicants must apply and be accepted to CCAC, file for federal and state financial aid and complete the financial aid process on time and in its entirety.

If awarded a scholarship, recipients are required to meet certain obligations. These include:

  • serving as a volunteer firefighter for five years in Allegheny County;
  • maintaining an acceptable level of service as monitored by recipient’s fire department;
  • completing two required courses at the Allegheny County Fire Academy;
  • maintaining a minimum FireVEST scholarship cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for the duration of the recipient’s studies; and
  • repaying a portion of the scholarship if service and academic requirements are not met.

Scholarship Application Requirements & Selection Criteria
Applicants must join or be a current member in good standing of an eligible volunteer fire company, complete CCAC’s admissions process, including filing for financial aid and be accepted for enrollment into the college.

Applicants must also complete the FireVEST application process, sending all materials to the Fire Academy using the address on the first page of the application. These materials include the scholarship application packet, volunteer service commitment agreement (signed by the sponsoring agency), application checklist and training timeline, and a letter of reference.

The FireVEST Advisory Board will review all nominations and other forms to assess scholarship eligibility and to determine scholarship recipients. Being accepted into membership of the sponsoring agency (volunteer fire company) and/or being accepted for enrollment at CCAC does not guarantee the student will be awarded a scholarship under the FireVEST program nor does it guarantee acceptance into limited enrollment CCAC programs. Instead, the recruitment needs of the sponsoring agencies are the first priority when selecting scholarship recipients.

LINK TO CCAC.EDU WEBSITE FIREVEST INFORMATION


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