10-01.00 Student Firefighter Program
TYPE – Policy
The purpose of the Student Firefighter Program is to provide hands-on training as well as classroom instruction to eligible high school students that are interested in pursuing a career in the fire service. Skills that are learned in the program could strengthen the desire of high school students to help others and help them develop a better understanding of the role and responsibilities fire personnel hold in the community. The program provides high school students with a safe and structured environment where they will learn valuable skills and receive guidance and mentoring to help them later in life.
It shall be the policy of Hood River County Fire & EMS to provide standardized rules, regulations, and guidelines for the administration and operation of the Student Firefighter Program. This program will be open to any applicant sixteen (16) years of age to eighteen (18) years of age, currently attending high school or Oregon State approved academic program.
Authority & Responsibility
It is the responsibility of agency Fire Chief’s to appoint an advisor to oversee the student firefighter program.
Any person regardless of race, creed, religion, or gender, who is of good character, shall be eligible for membership. Prospective student members must meet the following qualifications:
- Must be at sixteen (16) to eighteen (18) years of age.
- Must be a United States citizen.
- Must reside in Hood River County Fire & EMS boundaries.
- Must be able to speak, read, write and understand English fluently.
- Must be of good moral character and have acceptable social and work references.
- Must be able to physically perform the duties and responsibilities of an emergency responder.
- Must possess a valid Oregon driver’s license.
- Must have an acceptable driving record and acceptable criminal background. (Background investigation criteria for rejection: any felony conviction, any current or recent suspension or restriction of driver’s license which is the result of legal action be it a court or administrative agency, or any recent criminal activity that is determined by the Fire Chief’s to be undesirable).
- Must be willing to abide by departmental By-Laws, Policies and District Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG’s).
- Enroll in the Hood River Valley High School Student Firefighter class or equivalent.
- Achieve and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA with no failing grades.
- All applicants for the Student Firefighter Program follow the process outlined by their respective agency.
- The application will be reviewed by the Fire Chief and the applicant will be contacted.
- The applicant is recommended to observe some regular training sessions.
- The applicant and parent/guardian will be interviewed.
- A background investigation and reference check may be made.
- If recommended by the Fire Chief, the applicant will begin their Student Firefighter training.
- The applicant will be required to complete a New Member Orientation (see Forms section).
- Student membership is contingent on parental permission and suitable academic progress and may be revoked by a student’s parent/guardian at any time for any reason.
- A chief’s letter allowing participation in the High School Student Firefighter program will be required prior to registering for credit.
- Student will complete a high school athletics form (If Applicable).
- Student firefighters will be scheduled to complete a physical agility test within the first year of membership.
Student Firefighter Conduct
- As a member of the department, student firefighters will conduct themselves in such a way as to bring credit to the department.
- Student’s firefighters will refrain from the use of profane language at scenes and/or in the presence of the public.
- The use of drugs, alcohol, and/or tobacco products by student firefighters is expressly forbidden.
- Student firefighters shall not engage in disorderly conduct while wearing any clothing or insignia of the Fire Department.
- Student firefighters shall not make statements representing the Department to the public or press without authorization.
- Student firefighters shall conduct themselves as professionals at all times.
- No horseplay or abuse will be allowed involving the Department or equipment.
- Students will not enter or attempt to enter any restricted or unauthorized areas of the fire stations.
Required Attendance and Training
During the student period, a student member is required to complete the following:
- Attend at least fifty (50) percent of weekly drills.
- Regular response to emergency calls.
- Attend one hundred (100) percent of department fundraisers unless excused.
- Students affiliated with the High School program will maintain regular attendance at high school lunch meetings and attend 100 percent of fundraisers or events unless pre-excused.
- Learn apparatus call signs and which apparatus responds to various types of calls.
- Learn where all tools, equipment and supplies are located on all fire apparatus.
- Be familiarized with EMS equipment.
- Become CPR certified (when available).
- Obtain Bloodborne Pathogens certification (when available).
- Complete Hazardous Materials Awareness
- Student Firefighters are encouraged to attend the fire academy at their earliest convenience.
Rules and Duties
- The student may not leave school for any fire or EMS calls.
- The student will not operate any agency apparatus or equipment without permission from a Chief Officer, Company Officer or Advisor.
- The student will not enter a structure fire or IDLH atmosphere unless the situation is during training with permission from Training Officer and the student is with an approved instructor.
- The student will maintain good conduct, appearance, school grades, and citizenship.
- The student must show consistent attendance and participation in departmental activities.
- Student firefighters are permitted in the station between the hours of 6am and 11pm unless otherwise approved.
Uniforms and Clothing
Student Firefighters will be issued the following:
- Turnout pants – turnout jacket – green or black helmet- Nomex hood – structure firefighting gloves – boots – reflective traffic safety vest
- Pager – flashlight
- Department shirt – hat
Students shall maintain such equipment as prescribed by their department. Equipment storage and use is regulated by each agency. It is recommended that PPE not be kept in personal vehicles. Equipment shall be returned at the request of the agency.
Student firefighters will be graded on the following:
- Ability to work with others
- Following guidelines, policies and procedures
- Extra credit will be given for classes taken outside the Department
Each Student Firefighter must maintain a grade point of at least 2.5 GPA with no failing grades. Students who do not maintain the required GPA will be placed on probation until such GPA is obtained. Students will be required to turn in progress reports to their advisor at the first department training of each month.
If a student firefighter falls below at 2.5 GPA or has any failing grades that student will:
- Not respond on any calls.
- Attend drill every week, absences will be granted with the Advisors approval.
Hood River Valley High School Student Firefighter Constitution
- The name of the club shall be the Hood River County Student Firefighter Club, hereinafter referred to as HRCSFFC.
- Meetings will be on the second Tuesday of every month during school at 1120am. In school training sessions will be every fourth Tuesday at lunch. Special meeting may be held as necessary to conduct business.
- Officers shall include; President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The President will serve as the representative to the student government. Officers are elected at the fourth Tuesday of September annually. It is suggested that Officers be returning students but is not required.
- Election of officers will be by majority vote of the club members attending the meeting where such meeting shall take place. Nominations will come from the floor and are open to all members. Members may challenge for positions at a regular meeting where such a vote would have to take place, under a majority vote. Meaning any members may choose to have a new officer appointed at anytime as long as the vote passes by majority.
School Advisor / Representative
David Clarkson – Room K06 – firstname.lastname@example.org
- All HRCSFFC funds will be controlled by the HRVHS in an account dedicated to the club. Requests for funds will be made by club officers.
- As long as the club continues to do fundraisers, that will be sufficient for raising money. If the club fails to schedule fundraisers, the club members may have to impose dues payable from each respective members agency.
Duties of Office
- President – Shall conduct the meetings and keep the club moving forward to obtain the club goals and keep the club successful. She/he will coordinate with the appointed County Chiefs representative.
- Vice-President – Fill in for the president in his or her absence.
- Secretary – Shall keep accurate minutes of the meeting minutes and arrange announcements for meetings and activities.
- Treasurer – Handle account info and maintain a working knowledge of current funds available. Coordinate with County advisor for purchases.
- All Officers – All officers share responsibility for planned events, scheduled events and projects.
Request to leave for Student Firefighter Activities
- Students may participate in public education, hands only CPR and other events as requested. Students must obtain a signed permission slip from the school prior to the absence and have permission from their respective student advisor.
Facebook and Facebook Messenger
- County Advisors will have administrative access
- Club officers will be given access during their time in office
- Rights to content can be restricted at anytime and any photos should be approve prior to being uploaded by an advisor.
Completion of High School
Upon completion of the above requirements and graduation from high school, the student member will need to complete all respective agency requirements and/or submit an application to become a regular member.
All Student Firefighters shall be required to operate under the accepted operating guidelines of Hood River County Fire & EMS. Failure to accept or adhere to any guideline as established shall be just cause of corrective action.