Knowledgebase-Volunteer Firefighter

Information Product

Title:Volunteer Firefighter
Summary:Job description for the position of Volunteer Firefighter.
Original Author:MTAS
Product Create Date:03/08/99
Last Reviewed on::05/23/2017
Subject:Fire--Personnel; Fire--Volunteer organizations; Personnel--Classification; Voluntarism
Type:Job Description
Original Document:

Reference Documents:

Text of Document:

Revised: March 8, 1999


The volunteer firefighter is responsible for work performed in combating, extinguishing, and preventing fires, and protection of life and property through firefighting activities. The volunteer firefighter performs other duties in areas such as responding to emergency medical calls, hazardous materials incidents, rescues, searches and other public safety or community service functions. Duties may also include other support services under close supervision of the fire officers or other fire department members. Independent judgement is sometimes used according to the situation and sometimes different courses of action must be considered to complete the task.


The employee will operate firefighting, rescue, and medical equipment to include: nozzles, hoses, self-contained breathing apparatus, power saw, generators, jaws, hydraulic tools, and medical life support equipment.
A large part of the volunteers duty will be to attend supervised training, and maintaining equipment and quarters.
All firefighting and emergency operations must be performed during all kinds of adverse weather and physical conditions.
The firefighter is exposed to extreme heat, smoke, hazardous chemicals, and falling materials, blood, and other dangerous and life-threatening situations.


Responds to fire alarms, connects hose, holds nozzle and directs water streams.
Forces entry of premises for firefighting, rescue and salvage operations, uses chemical fire extinguishers, bars, hooks, lines, and other equipment.
Removes persons from danger, administers first-aid to injured persons.
Positions and climbs ladders to gain access to upper levels of buildings.
Performs salvage operations such as throwing covers, sweeping water and removing debris.
Carries charged hose line into structure for fire extinguishment.
Physically able to wear complete set of protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus.
Participates in fire drills and attends training classes in firefighting, first-aid, and related subjects.
Performance of hazardous tasks under emergency conditions which may involve extreme exertion under such handicaps as smoke and cramped surroundings.

Performs extreme strenuous and physical labor for extended periods under some unfavorable climatic conditions, frequently lifting objects weighing 50 to 100 pounds.
Performs duties requiring bending, crouching, stooping, climbing and crawling in buildings or close quarters that may be filled with smoke.
Drives fire apparatus when properly certified to do so.

Performs general maintenance work in the up-keep of fire department property: cleans and washed walls and floors, makes minor repairs, washes and dries hoses, mows yard, washes windows, paints, and otherwise maintains quarters.
May operate departmental radio communications on special assignments, receives alarms, and notifies appropriate personnel.
Participates in annual hose test, which involves unloading and reloading fire hose back on truck.
Participates in flow testing fire hydrants, which involves taking caps off hydrant and opening up hydrant and checking water flow.


Ability to read, understand and act upon printed information.
Knowledge of fire prevention and State and City regulations as applied to fire fighting and prevention.
Knowledge of geographic area of the City.
Knowledge of general first aid.
Knowledge of firefighting equipment and its intended uses.
Ability to react quickly and calmly in an emergency situation and to determine the proper course of action.
Ability to learn to operate a variety of fire fighting equipment.
Ability to learn to operate a large truck safely.
Ability to work under extreme weather conditions and dangerous heights.
Ability to understand and follow oral and written instruction.
Ability to establish and maintain an effective working relationship with the public and other employees.
Ability to wear heavy protective clothing for extended periods of time.
Ability to climb ladders.
Ability to operate power equipment.
Ability to physically, mentally climb to different heights and function in close quarters.


Must have high school diploma or successfully completed GED test.
Must possess a valid driver's license issued by the State of Tennessee. Must have held a valid drivers license without revocation or suspension for 24 months.
Must pass a medical examination by licensed physician.
Must be able to pass an annual physical ability test administered by the department.