This internet material is to give you some basic ideas about the Prentice Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service along with some basic volunteer membership information. If, after reviewing this information, you still have unanswered questions, please feel free to contact any firefighter, EMT, first responder or ambulance member or the fire department at 605 Spruce St. for follow-up information.
The Prentice Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance service provides emergency fire, medical, rescue, disaster services with prevention services to the homes, commerical businesses, manufacturing plants, farms, and people who live, work and travel through our county.
The Prentice Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Service is housed 605 Spruce Street in the Village Hall located on Railroad and Spruce Street in Prentice. The building has offices and is shared with the Village Board, and Clerk of Prentice.
Our department consists of over 25 volunteer members. Some of the department personnel are cross-trained as firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). The ambulance service has 27 EMTs and first responders with first responders located throughout the service area.
Annually, our department responds to approximately 200+ calls with approximately 70% of those calls being EMS related. The majority of these calls come within our primary EMS service area, which covers 500 square miles and includes the Villages of Prentice, Kennan, and Catawba. Townships of Catawba, Georgetown, Harmony, Hill, Kennan, Knox, Ogema, Prentice and Spirit.
The Prentice Volunteer Fire Department which covers 250 square miles, serves the Village of Prentice and the towns of Prentice, Hackett and Knox. When other departments request help, we respond into neighboring jurisdictions under a mutual aid agreement with other agencies.
We offer a variety of opportunities to serve, each with a high level of satisfaction. Whether you serve as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, or support member, few opportunities in life can match the satisfaction of knowing you’re making a difference in the lives of others. The department accepts applications from adults regardless of gender, race, religious or sexual preference. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and pass a criminal background check. Applicants desiring to be firefighters and/or EMTs should be able to handle the physical requirements and demands of the job.
Applications are available, in-person, can be picked up at 605 Spruce Street or can be mailed to you upon request. If, upon the review of your application, you are determined to be eligible, a member of our Membership Committee will contact you to schedule an interview. From there, the committee will decide whether to offer you a position. New members are brought onto the department with probationary status. The requirements to complete your probation will be fully explained to you during your orientation, but include required training and proficiency evaluations.
EMT trainees and first responders will take the EMT-basic course through the local Technical College. EMT-Basic is a one-semester class consisting of two-four hour classes per week. Firefighter trainees will take the Entry Level Firefighter class – also offered through the Technical College.
Ongoing Training and Meetings
Members are required to attend monthly meetings and Fire/EMS drills once or twice a month in the evenings starting at 6:30 p.m. and lasting one to two hours. The meeting/drills/training sessions are mandatory for all members unless excused by the officers of the department. Additional training opportunities are occasionally offered on weekends and through the local Technical College.
Other information, classes and seminars are also available through a variety of professional fire and EMS organizations such as the Wisconsin EMS Association, the State Fire Chief’s Association and Fire/EMS links on our website.
Make an Investment in You!
You will get back what you put into this position. As a department, we will invest in you by providing you with equipment, training, facilities, and welcome you into our “family”. As a member you will be expected to invest in yourself by completing the required training, taking your responsibilities seriously, and giving back to the community. If you put forth a solid effort and commit to being a dedicated member, the rewards and satisfaction are great. After successfully completing your probationary period and training, you will become a fulltime member.
Committees & Community Outreach
Other opportunities for members to participate include involvement in numerous internal and external committees and teams. Members are asked to participate in fire prevention and public education outreach efforts. In past years, funds raised through these efforts have purchased rescue equipment, public education equipment, and firefighting tools.
Support members fill many of the “behind the scenes” roles in our department. Through their dedication and contributions, support members help ensure that administrative work, record keeping, public information, marketing, and many other duties are completed professionally and efficiently. Support staff play a critical role in making everything function so we can all fulfill our mission.
Please Join Us!
We hope you choose to become a member with us. It will perhaps be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Feel free to contact us for more information or an application. For volunteer membership contact the Prentice Fire Department or Ambulance Service for further information at 715-428-2129.
Frequently Asked Questions for Potential Applicants
Q: The Prentice Volunteer Department is volunteer?
A: Yes and no, our membership consists of 25 “volunteers” who dedicate their time for training and calls. Volunteers can respond to calls at any time 24/7. The Prentice Volunteer Fire Department Ambulance Service is a paid on call and EMTs and drivers are paid for the emergency runs.
Q: What types of incidents does the volunteer fire department and EMS respond to?
A: We respond to just about every type of emergency imaginable. residential, commerical, manufacturing, structure fires, mutual aid calls, car fires, forest, brush and trash fires, logging, hunting, farming, manufacturing, medical emergencies, motor vehicle accidents, carbon monoxide incidents, and alarm activations are just some of the calls we receive. Obviously we respond to calls at all hours 24/7, every day of the year.
Q: How many calls does the volunteer department and EMS receive?
A: Our call volume has increased steadily over the past several years. We responded to over 200+ combined calls for EMS and/or Fire and the most calls are EMS. The runs or calls are few although some days are busier than others.
Q: Is the department looking for any more firefighter volunteers, EMT’s first responders, or ambulance drivers?
A: Yes! We are actively seeking new people to join the ranks of our current members. We are looking for people interested in becoming firefighters, EMTs, first responders, ambulance drivers or who just want to help out any way they can.
Q: Why should I do that…what’s in it for me?
A: You will get back what you put into this position. As a department, we will invest in you by providing you with equipment, training, facilities, and welcome you into our “family”. As a member you will be expected to invest in yourself by completing the required training, taking your responsibilities seriously, and giving back to the community. If you put forth a solid effort and commit to being a dedicated member, the rewards and satisfaction are great. Frankly, if you put forth a minimal effort, your experience will not be as rewarding.
Q: But I’m really busy with the kids, work, etc…I can’t possibly commit the time.
A: The time commitment is definitely something to consider. It seems everyone is busier than ever nowadays, and the men and women of the Prentice Volunteer Fire Department are no exception. We all have jobs, most of us have families, some are retired, and some of us are attending school. But we’re all able to find a few hours each week to devote to the department. With more members, we can all shoulder the workload.
Q: I really don’t think I’d fit in…I’m not that type of person.
A: What type of person is that? Our members come from all walks of life. We have men and women, college students, young single people, husbands and wives, parents, (single parents too,) and even a few grandparents. We have professionals with graduate degrees, business owners, and “blue collar guys.” Our organization prides itself in its professionalism and no longer subscribes to the “good ol’ boy club” mentality. The old stereotypes of a volunteer fire department just aren’t accurate anymore.
Q: What are the requirements to be a Prentice volunteer firefighter, EMT, first resonder, or driver?
A: You must be at least 18 years of age, of good moral character, be a resident of the district and be physically capable of performing the duties of a firefighter, EMT, first responder, or ambulance driver. Our application process is described in more detail below.
Q: What is it like to be a volunteer firefighter or EMT?
A: For starters, anything you saw in the movies or on TV is pretty much wrong! If you are expecting instant glory, fame, fortune, or hero status, you may be disappointed. If you expect to pay your dues, train hard, and learn your craft, the satisfaction, experience, and respect of your peers will follow. Is it dangerous? It can be, but we go to great lengths to train to do things properly and safely rather than rushing in in a cavalier manner. Is it exciting? Sometimes it is – sometimes not so much.
Q: What is being a probie like?
A: It’s a time to learn the basics about firefighting and the EMS department, and there’s a lot to learn. You’ll get your hands dirty, and you’ll be doing some not-so-glamorous work like cleaning and rolling hose, cleaning the emergency medical equipment. Preparing the emergency equipment for the next emergency. It’s a time to pay your dues and show the members of the department what you’re made of. But don’t worry, there’s nothing demeaning or humiliating about it, and you’ll already be making a very real contribution to the department.
Q: I’d like to help, but I really don’t think being a volunteer firefighter or EMT is for me. Are there other opportunities?
A: Of course, We have a support division made up of dedicated individuals who help out in many areas. We are always looking for volunteers to help out “behind the scenes” with a myriad of duties, including:
• Public Relations & Public Information
• Public and School Education
• Computer and administrative duties
• Fire Station guided tours
• Grant Writing and Photography
Q: I think I’d like to be a volunteer firefighter and or EMT, but I’m not sure. How can I find out more?
A: We want to give you all the information you need to help you make your decision. If you still have unanswered questions about volunteer membership contact any firefighter or EMT, the fire station office 428-2129, or the village clerk at 428-2124. You can stop in at the station on Spruce Street and Railroad Ave when you see people there. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and show you around the firehouse. Chances are there’s a friend or neighbor of yours there. Give one of them a call and they’ll be happy to speak to you about the department as well.
Q: So how do I apply and become a probationary member?
A: If you have decided it’s worth a try, you can contact the department to for an application form. There is a lot of information on our website at www.vil.prentice.wi.gov/fd. When you do receive a application from the membership committee, please fill the application out completely and provide any support documents such as existing certifications or previous relevant experience. If, upon the review of your application, you are determined to be eligible, a member of membership committee will contact you to schedule an interview. From there, the committee will decide whether to offer you a position on the Prentice Volunteer Fire Department or Ambulance and an EMT, first responder, or driver.