There are thousands of local junior firefighter programs nationwide. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) created one national program where departments and youth alike can find the resources, tools, and information they need to help develop, grow, enhance, promote, and participate in these local programs.
The NVFC launched the National Junior Firefighter Program in 2007 to support fire departments by fostering relationships and engaging youth in learning about, and ultimately becoming, members of the emergency services. Junior firefighter programs give young people the chance to learn about local fire, rescue, and emergency medical services response organizations in a safe, controlled, educational, and fun way while providing departments with an excellent recruitment mechanism. Reaching out to people when they are young has long-range effects, and encouraging youth to take part in the emergency services is extremely beneficial to local communities and departments. Benefits of junior firefighter programs include:
- Allowing youth to gain insight and interest in becoming long-term members of the emergency services
- Increasing awareness among youth about volunteering and supporting the fire and emergency services
- Providing departments with additional help in accomplishing non-firefighting or non-emergency tasks
- Leadership development for America’s youth, who are tomorrow’s leaders
- Educating parents and mentors on the importance of encouraging volunteerism
The National Junior Firefighter Program offers resources and tools to departments to help them develop and manage a local program, as well as for recruitment efforts. Departments can also register their local program in a searchable, online database. Young people can use the National Junior Firefighter Program to find a local program, learn what it means to be a junior firefighter, and log their hours of service.