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5 Things: Volunteering for the Franklin Lakes Fire Department

Know what to expect about volunteering at the fire department.

Want to really make a difference in town? The Fire Department in Franklin Lakes, which has been around since 1924, is seeking volunteers. Here’s five things you need to know about how you can help your neighbors.

Who am I helping? The Franklin Lakes Fire Departmnt responds to approximately 500 calls a year, serving 11,000 residents, as well as providing aid to surrounding communities.

What is the time commitment?  There is a certain percentage of calls, set by the state regulations, that volunteers are required to respond to each month, Chief Denny Knubel said. Firefighters can respond to between 30 and 60 calls a month.

What’s the benefit of volunteering? Self-gratification is a huge benefit, Knubel said. This is the kind of volunteer work that can bring great sense of pride, making volunteers feel like they’re re really giving back. There’s also a sense of brotherhood – the 54 firefighters that are currently at Franklin Lakes’ department come together on and off duty, creating a close knit family.

How can I get involved? Volunteers must pass Fire 1, a basic training course mandated by the state. The course meets for about six months, three nights a week for four hours. The course prepares volunteers in a classroom and with hands on training. For more information about volunteering, call the firehouse on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. at 201-891-5736 or visit their website.

I’m not 18 yet, but I want to get involved. How can I help? There is a juniors program for individuals who are between 16 and 18. Though they can’t take calls, junior members can attend meetings and drills and see how a firehouse is run. It’s great exposure and helps members know what to expect. Once juniors turn 18, they are on probationary program and can train in the Fire 1 course with regular members.

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