South Whatcom Fire Authority Volunteer / Emergency Response
SWFA recruits the best possible individuals to join our organization and accepts applications for non-trained firefighters twice a year for our firefighter academy and EMT class.
Our recruitment periods begin in March and September for the respective following Fall and Winter firefighter training academies. To become a member, each recruit must pass a cognitive exam, a physical assessment test and an oral board interview.
Successful applicants then must go through drug screening, criminal and driving background checks, and an occupational medical exam. The entire recruiting process takes about 70-90 days to complete.
Our entry-level volunteer hiring process is currently OPEN.
Please see information below on becoming a volunteer firefighter with SWFA.
If you have a current EMT or structural firefighting certification and are interested in joining, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about lateral firefighter opportunities year-round.
*The volunteer application process is now OPEN*
2024-1 Volunteer Recruitment Timeline:
- September 19, 2023 – 6:30 PM at the Geneva Fire Station– Prospective Applicant Information Session.
- **NEW DATE** October 2, 2023 – 6:30 PM at the Geneva Fire Station– Prospective Applicant Information Session.
- October 6, 2023 – The application period closes.
- October 10, 2023 – Written Test (Time and Location TBD)
- October 23 – 27, 2023 – Interviews (specific dates determined by number of interviews)
- October 30, 2023 – Conditional offers of positions. Begin background checks and medical exam process.
- November 21, 2023 – CPAT due, and SWFA Mandatory Vaccine Policy Documents Required.
- December 29, 2023 – Medical physical exams due.
- January 9, 2024 – 6:30 PM at the Sudden Valley Fire Station – Recruit Onboarding/Orientation/Self Study Assignments
- January 17, 2024 – 6:30 PM at the Sudden Valley Fire Station – Gear Fitting, Respirator Fit Testing.
- January 24, 2024 – Estimated Fire Academy Start Date (Subject to Change)
- January 31, 2024 – Self Study Due
*NOTE: SWFA HAS ADOPTED A “VACCINE MANDATE FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS” POLICY. ALL VOLUNTEERS AND EMPLOYEES MUST COMPLY WITH THE POLICY AND SUPPLY REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE POLICY BY THE REQUIRED DATE, ONCE OFFERED A POSITION AS A VOLUNTEER OR EMPLOYEE. IF VACCINATION RECORDS CANNOT BE OBTAINED, SWFA MAY AUTHORIZE TITER TESTING (AS AVAILABLE) TO VERIFY IMMUNITY IN LIEU OF VACCINATION RECORDS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SWFA POLICY. VACCINATION STATUS WILL NOT BE USED IN THE HIRING SELECTION PROCESS FOR AVAILABLE POSITIONS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS.
INFORMATION SESSION DETAILS
General information sessions will be hosted on September 19 and October 2, 2023, at our Geneva Fire Station, beginning at 6:30 PM. This session will provide applicants, or those that want more information first, details about our volunteer program and the commitments required if they move through the process. Please feel free to take notes and bring your questions to the session. We encourage all applicants to attend one of the information sessions.
Location: Geneva Fire Station #21 – 4518 Cable St., Bellingham, WA 98229
We encourage applicants to schedule a ride-along with us to get an inside look at day-to-day fire station life, and to provide an opportunity to ask questions of our members.
*All ride-along requestors must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and must submit a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record with their ride-along request form.
To schedule a ride-along, visit our Ride Along Program page.
To submit an application:
- Download the Application form and fill out completely, including the Authorization for Release of Information.
- Send completed form to email@example.com.
- Applications may also be hand delivered to our administrative offices at 2050 Lake Whatcom Blvd, Bellingham, WA. Applications are only accepted in-person Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
APPLICATIONS FOR ENTRY-LEVEL VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER ARE DUE NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 6, 2023 AT 4:00 PM.
We will review your application and reach out via email with additional information on the next steps of the process.