Volunteer
Whatcom Fire District 18 is a volunteer-based department with a part-time paid chief. We currently have 26 volunteers and are recruiting more! The volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, range in age, are male and female, have families, and most work full-time jobs.

We now have three types of volunteers, those who choose to be Firefighter/EMTs those who wish to do EMS only, and cadets, who are volunteers age 14-17.

EMS Only Volunteers

No experience necessary, we will train you. You'll be required to answer emergency medical calls only. No fire academy or fire training needed. Current medically trained volunteers also welcome. If serving your community as an EMT or greater without having to become a firefighter interests you, call us, your community needs you! Over 80% of Fire district 18 alarms are medical related.  Everything from traumatic injuries to cardiac arrest. If you are interested or would like more information, call Lt. Sean Dickinson at (360)395-5078 or e-mail him at seanandpaulina@msn.com See volunteer benefits below.

Firefighter/EMT Volunteers

To become a Firefighter/EMT volunteer, you must reside in district 18. After attending three of our department trainings and filling out an application, you'll be required to take to a few simple tests. First, you'll take a functional fitness test (no experience required) to make sure you are physically able to perform basic firefighter tasks...we can help you with this, so please don't be daunted! We then send you in for a comprehensive physical and drug test (paid for by the department) at the Occupational Health Center next to St. Joseph's Hospital. Finally, you'll have a brief interview with members of the Firefighter's Association. The interview panel will then pass their recommendation to the chief. When accepted, you'll receive a pager and a full set of gear. After four months, you will have another brief interview. Upon successful completion, we will pay for your training in the fire academy and EMT school. Your responsibilities as a volunteer are as follows:

  • Attend the Tuesday night trainings held at station 26 at 7pm
  • Respond to medical and fire emergencies when you are in district and not busy with other obligations
  • Attend the Whatcom County Fire and EMT training courses within the first two years of joining (paid for by the department)

The fire course is held at Whatcom County's Fire Recruit Academy and lasts 10 weeks. It will require two hours every Tuesday and Thursday, and all day on Saturdays for the duration of the ten weeks. By the end of the course, you'll be certified in the following areas: Firefighter 1, First Aid/CPR for health care providers, Infectious Disease Awareness, and Hazmat First Responder. Most firefighters who take this course feel that it is one of the greatest times of their lives. We offer support and additional help for those who need it.

The EMT class is held at the Bellingham Technical College and runs an entire quarter (approximately 12 weeks). It also requires two hours every Tuesday and Thursday and all day on Saturdays for the duration. At the conclusion of the course, you'll be certified as a Washington State EMT-B. You'll also receive college credit for the course.

All training is paid for completely by the department.

Volunteers receive many benefits, including:

  • A retirement pension plan
  • Line of Duty Life Insurance
  • Free training and uniforms
  • Access to a fully equipped gym at station 25, 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Payment of $6 per training and $4 per call for reimbursement of your time, paid once a year
  • Opportunities for advancement in the department, which may lead to additional stipends
  • Being a "brother" or a "sister" in a great fire department team-including friends for life
  • Having the satisfaction that you saved your neighbor's life or your neighbor's house from fire
  • You get to finally drive one of those big red trucks, just like you've always wanted!
  • A nifty firefighter sticker for your car
  • An invitation for you and your family to the yearly awards banquet

For more information about becoming a volunteer, call Scott at 595-0130 or 815-7483.