IMPORTANT: There is a lot of information on this page and the form itself is quite long. Please ensure that you dedicate enough time to fill out the application form completely and submit it all in one sitting, as saving it and coming back later is not an option.
LETTER FROM THE FIRE CHIEF
Dear Prospective Member:
Thank you for your interest in becoming a member of the Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc. We are always looking for individuals interested in becoming part of our “Family.” Whether you are compelled by the desire to give to your community, gain valuable experience and training or are looking for a home \ family the CVFRD leadership hopes to afford each member the opportunity to fulfill their goals. In order to do this effectively, the department involves its member’s family through department events and functions to help overcome the time away that is often a burden.
We are a unique Emergency Services organization allowing several levels of commitment from which one can choose. I must reiterate COMMITMENT. As volunteers we are relied upon during someone’s most tragic moment. Emergencies do not occur at convenient times and you will be called upon at all times of the day or night to assist at emergencies. It is not always glamorous, and it is seldom convenient, but it is tremendously rewarding to know that in times of crisis you can make a difference in people’s lives. Because you likely have additional responsibilities such as a career, family and or school, volunteering may be a bit more demanding than what you might imagine. I encourage you to consider this before making a decision to become a volunteer by evaluating the membership types offered by CVFRD.
If you feel you can meet the requirements of the job we would certainly appreciate you returning the enclosed application.
Tim Benningfield, Chief
INTRODUCTION TO CHUGIAK FIRE AND RESCUE DEPARTMENT
The Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc. is dedicated to preserving the lives and property of the citizens of Chugiak. We promote safety through community education and our professionally trained volunteers will deliver superior medical services, fire suppression and rescue throughout our community.
During an emergency, we are all business; afterward and in between we are a closely knit “Family” of friends and neighbors. We are always willing to welcome another good neighbor into our ranks, and the following pages were drafted to help you with the transition into the department.
The Chugiak Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department provides fire protection and EMS response for an area of approximately 45 square miles and a population around 14,000. Established by several local homesteaders in 1952, the CVFRD service area extends from the Knik River bridge on the Glenn Highway to the North Eagle River overpass and is bordered by the Cook Inlet to the west and Chugach State Park and the Chugach Mountains to the east.
CVFRD meets a mix of suburban and rural fire protection needs. Residential properties make up the majority of structures within this service area, but light industrial and commercial occupancies, a light-aircraft airport, a large senior center, three elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, three private schools, and several long-term care facilities for the elderly are included in the response area. Many lakes, streams, and outdoor recreational areas, along with all forms of vegetation found in Southcentral Alaska, provide for a unique setting for fire protection and EMS response.
We respond to about 950 emergency calls a year. Most of them are medical in nature. Structure fires are infrequent due to the relative newness of the structures within the community and an active fire prevention program.
CVFRD is comprised of members from all walks of life and includes several classifications of members within the department including Active members, Reserve members, Affiliate members and Junior members. Although numbers fluctuate, currently there are about 100 people serving in some capacity.
Responders are assigned to a Duty Crew according to their membership types and department’s needs. Members are expected to be available to respond during designated times based on the membership type and its required commitment. They may respond during other crew times with the approval of the duty officer.
The department meets every Wednesday night for training or business meetings. This will be the first test of your commitment to the department. If you cannot willingly give up every Wednesday night during your tenure in the department, you should seriously reconsider your application. Business meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The Executive Board, fire line officers, Advanced Life Support Medics, Juniors, and departmental committees often have training or other meetings on various days of the week. You will be required to attend as many business and applicable training meetings as is reasonably possible.
Upon acceptance into the company, a probationary member will be assigned to an officer who will be responsible for their training. Every probationary member shall be required to attend the Company orientation course prior to responding.
Evaluation of probationary members is done at 30, 60, and 90 days and at one year by the Executive Board. Upon the successful completion of the one (1) year probationary period, successful probationary members may request to become a voting member of the Company. A vote will be taken and if a simple majority of the ballots are affirmative, the probationary member shall be accepted as a voting member of the Company and receive their numbered badge. Any person denied membership in the Company shall not be eligible to re-apply for a period of six (6) months.
CVFRD is a professional service with a proud tradition of serving this community since 1952. All members are expected to act accordingly and be studious to avoid any behavior that will reflect unfavorably on the department. All members will refrain from the use of alcoholic beverages and within eight hours prior to and while on response duty. Illegal drug use, to include marijuana, will not be tolerated and will be grounds for immediate dismissal. Smoking, chewing tobacco and vaping is prohibited within the stations, on company grounds, on the apparatus, and during responses.
TYPES OF MEMBERSHIPS
The types of membership listed below have evolved over time for a variety of reasons. The key is to find the one best suited to your interests and the needs of the department. Below are brief summaries of the various types of membership. If you have questions about them, please don’t hesitate to ask a department member to explain them more fully to you.
An active member is assigned to a duty crew and will respond with that crew. Active members must possess a valid driver’s license and a high school diploma or G.E.D. Active members residing outside the area bounded on the South by the waterway know as Eagle River, on the East by the R 1 W range line of the Seward Meridian, on the North by the Knik River, and on the West by the Knik Arm must make their required hours in residence at the crew living quarters. This membership type is expected to be available for 1 weekend and 2 additional nights during a 4 week period.
Affiliate membership is designed to provide daytime response coverage as outlined in department policies. Affiliates must be currently certified by the State of Alaska, at a minimum, as an Emergency Trauma Technician, or have completed training equivalent to Alaska’s Firefighter I curriculum. They must be 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or G.E.D. This membership type is expected to be available 36 hours per calendar month, Monday through Friday between 0630 and 1830. It is preferred that 4 of those hours are with the member’s duty crew during the weekend.
Reserve membership is granted by the Executive Board. Reserve memberships are not intended to be permanent positions. Upon granting an individual a reserve membership, the Executive Board will provide a list of duties and expectations to hold that position. Reserve memberships shall be reviewed by the Executive Board at periodic intervals, not to exceed one year. The intent of the review is to determine if the position is still needed by the Company; the individual assigned; and that the assigned duties and expectations are being met.
Junior members shall be a minimum of 14 years of age and maintain compliance with all the junior member guidelines as established. Junior member applications will be accepted/rejected solely by the Executive Board.
The Chugiak Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc. utilizes many advanced and modern apparatus for fire suppression and EMS response. With five stations spread strategically throughout the populated areas of the service district, response times are generally under 10 minutes. Following is a brief description of the apparatus belonging to the CVFRD and their uses:
- Engines (Pumpers): Used for initial fire suppression, these apparatus have high-flow pumps and a moderate on-board water supply. All are equipped with attack and supply hose, firefighting tools, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and ladders of varying lengths.
- Tenders: Used to supply water and supplement the engines. The tenders have moderate-flow pumps, but carry large amounts of water.
- Mini-Pumpers (Attacks/Brush): Small trucks with limited pumping capabilities and very little water, these apparatus are used primarily for brush fires and fires inaccessible to the larger engines.
- Rescue: Carries tools and equipment to supplement the other apparatus on fire and rescue scenes. Fixed and portable lighting equipment, generators, heaters, smoke fans, forcible entry and extrication tools, and spare air cylinders are included.
- Ambulances (Medic Units): All are equipped for Advanced Life Support (ALS) response.
- Command Vehicles: The Chief, Assistant Chiefs, Duty Captain, Advanced Life Support, and Maintenance Manager each have an SUV with some support equipment and command and control capabilities.
- Special Operations Vehicles: 2 snow machines, 2 six-wheelers, 1 16 foot inflatable boat.
CVFRD operates five fire stations. Apparatus placement at the various stations varies according to season and space demands.
- Station 31 (Latimer): Mile 18.5 Old Glenn Highway
- Station 32 (Gilmore): Inlet View Drive, off South Birchwood Loop Road
- Station 33 (Hill): Settlers and Chugiak Drive, North Peters Creek
- Station 34 (Wallace): Birchwood Airport on the North Birchwood Spur Road.
- Station 35 (Lowe): 14010 Old Glenn Highway near Fire Lake
RESPONDING TO EMERGENCIES
If you are new to the Chugiak Fire Service Area you may find the road system difficult to navigate, it is advised that members become familiar with the primary, secondary, and rural roads in order to efficiently provide the services we are expected to deliver. Map books and familiar with the response area in are key to successful navigation during emergency response. It is important to realize technology may or may not be beneficial in the entire service area.
You will only be able to operate CVFRD vehicles after you have been properly trained in emergency vehicle operations and trained to drive and operate each specific department apparatus. Federal, state and local regulations relative to emergency vehicle safety and operations will be covered during your orientation. You must exercise caution in responding to emergencies.
Each member is issued and expected to wear the appropriate uniform and/or personal protective equipment (PPE) during training and emergency response.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
- Applications for membership shall be made in writing, signed by the applicant, and submitted to the Executive Board for review. Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age, except applicants for the junior program.
- The Executive Board reviews the applicant’s driving record, criminal background, and all personal references. The applicant shall provide a copy of their driving record if applicable and a criminal background check at the time of their application. New member applications shall be presented to the body by the Executive Board at the next regular business meeting.
- Complete the application attached with this packet. Please be sure to include copies of your driving record, current State of Alaska driver’s license, a criminal record (these records must be paid for by the applicant). If you have prior training from another department, please include these records with your application. You are required to submit all paperwork within 30 days of the initial application.
- Retain the first 8 pages and return pages 9-13 along with background check, driving report and copy of driver’s license by email to [email protected] or by hard copy to Station 35 at least one week before the monthly business meeting. If changes occur to your contact phone number(s), you decide against joining, have application updates, or have moved from the Chugiak Fire Service Area, please contact the department as soon as possible.
- You will be contacted by a member of the department once your application has been reviewed for completeness. He/She will give you further information on the status of your application.