Thank you for expressing interest in the Mansfield Fire Department and your community. This is the first step in becoming an important part of your community by becoming an emergency services provider. The following information explains the steps in becoming a member.
The Mansfield Fire Department is a full service fire and rescue department. The department is a combination department, consisting of both career (paid) and volunteer members. Its members respond to as many as 2000 emergency calls each year, including fires, vehicle accidents, and (mostly) medical emergencies. To quickly respond to these emergency calls, the department has three stations. There are four paid personnel serving 24/7, divided among the three stations.
As you read on, the road ahead may seem daunting, but it really isn't difficult. Becoming an emergency service provider is a serious responsibility. You have a responsibility to your fellow firefighters and to the persons whose lives and property may be involved in an emergency. Because of the possibly dangerous nature of this service and to assure that you will be operating safely, substantial training is required. That training will be provided to you at no cost other than the time you invest in learning.
Step 1. Application and Interview
Your first step is to complete a membership application. Answer the questions as fully and truthfully as possible. Once complete, you can submit this by mail or in person to the Chief's office in the Mansfield Town Hall. In a week or two you'll be contacted by telephone to set up a date for an interview with the Chief. The interview will last a half hour or so and is an opportunity for the Chief to get to know you, and for you to ask any questions you have about the membership process, the Department, being an Emergency Service Provider, and other matters. The Chief will then pass your application on to the membership committee.
Step 2. Probationary Membership
If your interview is successful, the membership committee will recommend you for appointment as a Probationary Member. Again, you'll be contacted and invited to attend one of the monthly meetings of the membership. Your initiation into the department usually takes place in the fall with other interested applicants. At that meeting you will be sworn in by the Chief as a Probationary Member.
Probationary membership lasts a minimum of six months. During this time you will become acquainted with the department, our fire and rescue equipment, how the Department works, and all the other matters which make the Mansfield Fire Department an elite organization. You'll do this by completing a series of orientation and minimum required training classes to become a participating probationary firefighter: CPR, blood-borne diseases, hazardous materials awareness, and fire-ground safety. All the training courses are provided by experienced members of the department. You must complete these four courses before you can respond to any calls for service.
Once you have completed these minimum requirements, you will be issued a set of firefighting gear and a pager. You will be able to respond to calls by spending time at the station or in your personal vehicle. As a probationary member you are invited to attend the meetings of the membership (held on the first Tuesday of each month at 19:00 hrs at Station 107), attend training sessions (usually the second and fourth Tuesday of the month, 19:00hrs, Station 107) and to participate in any of the other activities of the department.
Step 3. Full Membership
After six months, you may be considered for full membership in the department. Keep in mind that this does not always occur at the six month mark. The time you spend as a probationary member depends a lot on your effort and interest in the department. Spending time at the station is highly encouraged not only so that you can respond to calls, but also so that you can learn about our apparatus and equipment, as well as getting to know the other members of the department.
As a member of the department your responsibility to maintain a high level of training is not diminished. There are four primary roles for members:
1. Firefighter - This will require you to complete a 160 hour training course at an accredited training school in the state. We are fortunate to have such a school in Willimantic. This course is offered every spring and fall and falls on every other weekend (Sat. and Sun. every other week).
2. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - This will require you to complete a 160 hour training course from a certified instructor in the state. There are many programs available at all times during the year, and they fit all schedules. Some programs are offered twice a week during the day, twice a week during the evening, weekends, or intensive programs that run 40 hours/week for 4 weeks.
3. Fire Police - This activity demands a less rigorous physical condition. You must complete a 12 hour course in traffic control and state DOT regulations. Although there is much less training involved, fire police serve an important role by redirecting traffic around vehicle accidents or other scenes that require closure of a road.
4. Dive Team - If you are an accredited diver and have completed the firefighter and/or EMT training you may become a member of the departments aquatic rescue unit which participates as part of the Tolland County Dive Rescue Team.
All of the above training, and many, many other advanced courses are available to members as they desire. There are also many other advanced opportunities to members who have completed one or more of the above training courses. Cost of all training are usually paid for by the department.
As a Member of the Department you have the right to participate in departmental business and to vote on matters brought before the membership. You will also have the opportunity to participate in social activities of the Department, in community service provided through the Department and many enjoyable activities with your new colleagues. Above all, you will have the privilege of be a member of one of the elite fire departments in Connecticut.