Q – What sort of training do you have to take to become a firefighter?

A – The State of WI has set some training levels for anyone that wishes to become a member of a department. The initial training is a 60 hour Entry Level Training. This training gets you a basic knowledge of what it takes to work on a fire scene. Members are also required to take a 16 hour Hazardous Materials Operations training, complete online National Incident Management System classes (NIMS ICS-700, ICS-100, and ICS-200).

There is an additional training of 36 hours that allows you to become a Certified Firefighter I in WI. Once this training has been completed you can take additional training to become a Certified Firefighter II, Certified Fire Officer, Fire Inspector, Vehicle Extrication Technician, and Confined Space Rescuer just to name a few.

There is also in-house training that is done on a monthly basis at each station that refreshes skills that you have previously learned.

Q – How old do you have to be to become a firefighter?

A – Township Fire Department has several different levels of firefighter levels within the department. The first level is a student firefighter. Student firefighters are young men and women at least 16 years of age but not yet 18. Student firefighters receive the same training as all other firefighters on the department but do not respond to calls until they turn 18.

The next levels are all men and women who are at least 18 years of age. They are trained and are members of the department until they decide they no longer wish to do so.

Q – What does it mean to be a “volunteer” firefighter?

A – A volunteer firefighter has another job that they make their living doing. They “volunteer” to be a firefighter because they want to help their neighbors in a time of need and to provide a service to their community. They respond to calls during their time off from their regular job. In some cases their employer gives them time off from their job to respond to fires.

Q – How do you get notified of a fire?

A – When someone calls 911 to report a fire, the dispatcher transmits an alert tone on the radio and then gives information regarding the type and location of the call. All of our firefighters carry a pager that receives the tone and the information. Our officers also carry portable radios.

Q – Do your firefighters live at the station?

A – No, Township Fire Department firefighters respond from their homes to either the station to get on a truck or directly to the scene. All of our firefighters have other, full time jobs.

Q – How many fire trucks are in your department?

A – Township Fire Department has a fleet of 22 trucks. This fleet is made up of 6 engines (pumper type trucks), 5 tenders (trucks that haul water), 5 squads (trucks that haul specialized equipment), 5 brush trucks (4 wheel drive trucks that are used to fight grass/brush fires), and 1 Suburban (responds to Interstate highway fires with traffic cones and additional warning lights, also used by the fire inspectors). Township Fire Department also has 4 boatsof various types, 6 ATV/UTV off road apparatus of various types, and one Special Rescue trailer that carries equipment used by our specialized rescue team.

Q – How large is your service area?

A – Township Fire Department provides fire protection to the Townships of Seymour, Washington, Union, Pleasant Valley, and Brunswick in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. These five townships encompass a total of 232 square miles and basically surround the city of Eau Claire.