Junior Firefighter Program
What is a Junior Firefighter?
Juniors are a very important part of our organization. Here at South Killingly Fire Department, we allow high school students to join at the age of 14, with parents' written permission. Can you imagine your teenager running into burning buildings and hanging from the roof by a rope? Sorry, that doesn't happen. Juniors are limited to what actions they can perform due to labor laws and their lack of fire service training.
The junior program is one designed to start a young firefighter's training to prepare them for certification once they turn 18, almost like an internship or apprentice program. We allow juniors to assist at the firehouse and in a support capacity at fire scenes. That doesn't mean they can't do anything at all.
We depend on juniors to support the certified firefighters, whether it's shuttling equipment from the fire engine to where it's needed at the scene, setting up water supply, or helping to clean up after a fire so we are ready to respond to another call.
Some of the benefits of being a junior include:
Learning about teamwork. Learning about personal and group responsibility. Functioning with a diverse group of people from all walks of life and age groups. Starting preliminary training to prepare for firefighter certification. Learning life skills such as CPR and using fire extinguishers. Knowing that you have helped someone in their time of need and made a difference in their lives.
We put a strong priority on school. We encourage juniors to be as active as they want, however we require them to submit copies of report cards to the officer in charge of the junior program. Any student not maintaining acceptable grades will be suspended from all activities until they improve. We also do not let them carry pagers at school or respond to fire calls during school hours. We follow all state regulations with child labor and driving laws, prohibiting late night responses.
Rest assured that junior firefighters are treated just as any other firefighter, but their safety is paramount. Junior firefighters are easily distinguishable with obvious markings, such as "safety orange marked" colored helmets and safety traffic vests. They are not permitted to be in any area that is considered dangerous, nor are they allowed to operate any heavy machinery such as chainsaws or hydraulic tools.
If you are a student, or the parent of one, and interested in joining the fire department, please contact us at the email or phone number provided in the Contact Us section. Better yet, stop in. We have training every Wednesday night starting at 6:30pm and the last Wednesday of every month we have our monthly meeting starting at 7:00pm. We are always available to give you a tour and discuss membership with you. We are always accepting applications for JUNIOR, ASSOCIATION, and ADULT members, and the rewards are worth the commitment.