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Be a Hero: Local Firefighters Seeking New Volunteers

Students over the age of 16 are eligible to become junior firefighters.

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Volunteer firefighters play a key role in keeping communities safe, but many local fire departments, including the Neptune Fire Station in Tyrone, are facing a shortage of members.

Volunteer firefighters experience the thrill of helping, saving lives and making a difference in someone’s life. The Tyrone station is looking for members and new recruits do not have to be 18 to get started. Most of the local fire departments begin their junior programs at age 15 or 16.

Tyrone Class of 2016 graduate Sarah Wilson is one of several TAHS students who got involved with firefighting prior to age 18.  

“Volunteer firefighters are so important because without firefighters who would be there for accidents and fires,” said Wilson.

While junior firefighters are limited in what they can do, they still make big contributions to the fire company. At the age of 16 juniors can get gear and a pager, start training and can go on scene to help the regular firefighters.

“Junior firefighters play an important role for the older guys. If we go to a wreck  the juniors get the tools or whatever things that we would need,” said TAHS senior and local firefighter Nick Riggleman.

“During a real emergency these young adults could be a big help assisting older members,”  said John Kane, marketing director for the Allegheny Mountain Firefighters Initiative. “By law and common sense, young people can train and assist during some emergency calls, but they may not climb ladders or go into burning buildings,” added Kane.

Junior firefighters can also clean trucks and hang out at the fire station.  They can go on calls but must stay on the trucks if under the age of 16.

Also, joining early makes it easier and faster to get the training necessary to become a fully certified firefighter at the age of 18.

It’s a serious commitment, even for a junior member. They will enjoy themselves but this is serious business”

— John Kane

“It’s a serious commitment, even for a junior member. They will enjoy themselves but this is serious business,” said Kane, “horseplay that might be okay at school or home are not tolerated.”

According to Kane, training is paid for by the department and personal protective gear is supplied.

To join just stop by your local fire department or visit the Alleghany Mountain Firefighter Initiative Facebook Page for more information.  For a full list of all Blair County fire departments click here.

To download a copy of the Neptune Fire Company Application, click the link below:

Neptune Fire Company Application

Interested students at TAHS can stop outside Officer Bub’s room or see Skylar Witchley or Nick Riggleman for more information.  

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The voice of the Tyrone Area High School
Be a Hero: Local Firefighters Seeking New Volunteers