Ready to Get Started by Still Have Questions?
We’ve listed some common questions below — a list we’ll be adding to regularly.
Be sure to browse our benefits, opportunities, and why you should volunteer sections for detailed information on becoming a volunteer Firefighter, EMT, Paramedic, Administrative, Support or Auxiliary team member, or Junior Firefighter/Explorer in South Carolina.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I Need Prior Training or Experience?
Absolutely not. All training required to become a volunteer Firefighter, Firefighter/EMT or EMT is provided through various county and state programs. There are dozens of courses including hazardous materials, specialized rescue and beyond. Check with your department’s recruiter for more information.
How Much Time Will I need to Spend as Volunteer?
Becoming a volunteer is a serious commitment — but we ensure it’s as flexible as possible to fit in with and work around your day to day life.
For those looking to be Firefighters and/or EMTs, this includes training that is conveniently scheduled on nights and weekends at locations throughout your region of the state, flexible duty shift schedules and more. A new recruit without any training can expect to spend 200-300 hours their first year going through the process, initial training, events and more. Check with your recruiter for specifics to your chosen department.
Administrative and Support volunteer opportunities may be best if you are looking to volunteer but not ride fire trucks — which also eliminates the required emergency operations training courses. Schedules for these opportunities are typically even more flexible than those for volunteers in operational fire, rescue and EMS roles.
For Junior/Explorer programs, requirements vary by department, Be sure to ask your recruiter.
How Long Does the Recruitment Process Take
Selflessness, safety, being a team player, integrity, honesty, courage, compassion, commitment, and competence. The competence will come from training to ensure a job is done safely and effectively. Other requirements vary by local fire department, but generally you must be 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED (unless currently in school), and pass a required SLED background check and physical.
Please be sure to ask the recruitment representative from your area department about their specific process and timeline.
Do I Get Paid?
The short answer is NO, you do not get paid money to volunteer.
However, there are MANY benefits to being a volunteer which you can learn about here. This includes a generous tax deduction for South Carolina residents after several years of service, a Length of Service Award retirement program, free training including professional development (which may also help you secure outside employment in the Fire/EMS service), education incentives, insurance benefits, discounted services, events and much more.
Some departments may have other benefits which include some financial component based on training, experience, time served and other factors. Some departments may offer per call or other stipends.Ask your recruiter for details.
We’re looking for individuals interested in volunteering their time to serve their community and make an impact for themselves. Is that you? get started here today.