Stepping into the role of volunteer firefighters is much different than stepping into many other positions. Work as a volunteer firefighter does come with some incredible benefits such as gaining an extended close-knit family and the rewarding feelings of service.
However, being a volunteer firefighter also requires being prepared for intense physically and mentally straining situations as well as planning with family for lifestyle changes. Here are a few recommendations to help novice volunteer firefighters prepare for the job.
Talk with Loved Ones about Sporadic Lifestyle and Schedule
Being a volunteer firefighter will mean having to adopt a punctuated schedule. There are meetings and training volunteer firefighters will have to attend regularly. If they are “on-call” they will need to drop whatever they are doing even if it is spending time with loved ones.
To prepare for a sudden and sporadic schedule, novice volunteer firefighters should talk beforehand with loved ones. Volunteer firefighters must make sure that their friends and family understand their new schedule and necessary commitments. A discussion beforehand will prevent frustration and confusion on the part of the volunteer’s love ones.
Train Beforehand to be in Good Physical Condition
Researchers have found that heart attacks are the leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities. This comes out to about half of all firefighter deaths each year. This statistic points to the importance of being physically ready for the demanding work of volunteer firefighting.
For novice firefighters, they must prepare their bodies preemptively for the job. Working out and eating right are simple yet highly effective ways of warding off injury. Not only will exercise and healthy eating prepare volunteers for the job, so too will it lead to a better, happier life.
Likewise, novice volunteer firefighters can easily include their families in their role preparation. The whole family will benefit from healthy habits.
Establish Support Groups Before Stepping into the Role
Volunteer firefighters are faced with many stressful and emotionally charged situations. They may be exposed to death, injury and bear witness to others experiencing the pain of loss.
It falls upon the duties of the novice to prepare accordingly. Volunteers should have a support group in place before they begin their role, not after. Additionally, novice volunteers can plan for their new position by establishing healthy coping mechanisms and researching the various resources already in place for them.
About Provident Insurance Programs
With roots dating back to 1902, Provident Insurance Programs is a program administrator that serves paid and volunteer firefighters in addition to emergency medical responders with numerous custom-tailored insurance programs. We’ve also extended our expertise and experience to offer benefit plans and coverages to participant groups as well as Transportation Benefits. We are committed to continuing to provide superior customer service, and would be happy to speak with you to provide further information. Give us a call today at (855) 201-8880 to speak with one of our representatives.