Probably at least some of these would better be answered by the department itself, but was hoping to get some general info first... I don't have any kind of training yet, I was hoping to take an EMT-B class this fall. At first I was mainly looking into it as a '1st aid on steroids' course - and it was about the only "1st aid class" option I HAD locally. But I pass the local volunteer fire dept every day, and lately I can't help but think about how locals here have 'bad-mouthed' it for as long as I can remember. Yet, I don't see any of them that whine about it offering to do anything to make it BETTER! I have seen some new people in there, but I don't know what the current roster looks like. We're WAY out in the boonies. Even IF the ambulance drivers from the nearest locale know EXACTLY where they're going, there's no way they can arrive to my community any faster than half an hour (unless via helecopter). And they usually DON'T know where they're going. Not a slam, but like I said, we're WAY "out there." My grandmother had a heart attack a while back. It took over an hour for the ambulance to arrive. If the 1st Responders from that VFD had not been on hand to radio them, who knows when they would have arrived? They had missed a turn and were in the next COUNTY when the 1st Responders talked to them! Those local guys were a GREAT comfort to us till the "pros" got there. If not for them, *I* would probably have had a heart attack too! So, I guess some questions I had: **Can I join just as a 1st responder/EMT, or would I have to go "all in" and learn to be a firefighter too? **How would it affect my current job? I work as a Certified Pharmacy Technician at least 40 hours a week, in a town 15 miles/25-ish minutes from home. How much time would I need to devote to it? **How big would the "area" of operation be? The community is also about 15 miles away from Bakersville, NC. I remember meeting the same 1st Responders that came the night of Mamaw's heart attack heading to Bakersville the night of our infamous "jail fire." I don't want to seem 'selfish' but my raison d'etre would be trying to help local folks out during the considerable time it takes for the "pros" to arrive to our little neck of nowhere. But I can certainly see needing all the help you can get in a disaster like the jail fire. Hmmm....'bout all the questions I can think of for now. Any insight into the world of "VFD" would be appreciated!