BCFD recruiting more volunteer firefighters

Published 8:20 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Boyle County Fire Department is looking for a few good men and women to join their ranks to help keep the community protected during emergencies.

Assistant Fire Chief Tony Broyles said the BCFD is currently recruiting volunteer firefighters — something it does every year. The all-volunteer department needs to maintain about 80 firefighters on its roster to have enough people to serve its seven stations and be available to go on emergency calls.

Normally, the department loses about five to 10 volunteers throughout the year so recruitment is always necessary. Volunteers’ lives change when they have kids and are kept busy going to ball games and soccer matches, Broyles said. “We understand that life gets in the way” of volunteering sometimes.

Email newsletter signup

Anyone interested in applying for the position of volunteer firefighter can pick up an application at the BCFD, located at 1500 Lebanon Road, and submit it before 5 p.m. Friday.

Applicants will be asked to take a basic physical fitness and agility test where they will roll up a 100-foot hose and put on firefighting equipment and air packs so they’ll know “just how much that stuff weighs,” Broyles said. “It can be kind of tough.”

Applicants will also undergo a background check and have interviews.

If chosen, the new recruits will be given 60 hours of training consisting of two nights a week and every other Saturday, he said. This training consists of some bookwork but mostly hands-on work at the department’s training center on Lebanon Road. Training will continue throughout their firefighting career.

Kentucky law states that each volunteer should have at least 20 hours of training a year, and the department provides two to four hours of training every week, making it easier for firefighters to meet the requirement.

Volunteers are paid a small stipend while in training. They’re also outfitted, at no cost, with all the firefighting equipment they’ll need, Broyles said.

Volunteer firefighters are paid for every call they go on, and are not required to go to a fire scene when working at their regular jobs. They are expected to answer calls if they’re available though. “Every hand counts” when fighting fires, he said.

Also, if a volunteer is working most of the night at a fire situation and is late for work the next morning, state law prohibits them from being penalized, Broyles said.

If someone wants to become a volunteer firefighter, Broyles said, “We hope it’s because they have a commitment to their community.”