Cinnaminson Fire Department opens its doors to volunteers

As fall approaches, the fire department is asking individuals in the area to sign up to be a community hero.

There are people who run away from danger, but the Cinnaminson Fire Department is seeking those who aren’t afraid to run toward it. As fall approaches, the fire department is asking individuals in the area to sign up to be a community hero.

The Cinnaminson Fire Department is a “combination department,” meaning that it houses both career and volunteer firefighters at two locations in Cinnaminson, according to Volunteer Fire Chief Bill Kramer.

“It’s the only emergency service that relies on volunteers,’’ Kramer said. “Could you imagine if you had to only rely on volunteers to take out your trash or other tasks?’’

Covering an average of nearly 1,500 calls a year, the department is always in need of volunteers to assist.

“The volunteers are an integral part of this conversation,’’ Kramer said. “It’s not uncommon to have multiple calls at the same time.”

A common misconception is the fire department only handles issues regarding fires, but according to Kramer, only about 8 percent of the calls the department receives are for fire-related emergencies. Kramer said the other 92 percent are medical emergency calls, motor vehicle crashes, natural gas leaks, chemical leaks and more.

“Our people have to be equipped to handle all calls,” Kramer said. “We prepare them for it.”

Many people believe being a volunteer means putting on the bunker gear with an extinguisher in hand; however, this isn’t always the case, according to Kramer. Kramer said being a volunteer does not just mean going out to fight fires, his department is looking to fill positions such as contributory member, explorer, fire police officer, emergency medical aid, junior firefighter and more.

Residents as young as 14 can volunteer as a junior firefighter or explorer, programs meant to expose kids to the lifestyle of a firefighter and inspire more people to pursue a career or volunteer position with the department. According to Kramer, volunteers will be able to make their own schedule and receive proper training.

“It’s a way to get kids interested in working in the fire department,” Kramer added.

Having more volunteers will not only have a positive effect on the tax dollar by alleviating the need for more career firefighters but it will also benefit the community Kramer said.

With fires doubling every 60 seconds in size, according to Kramer, he believes more volunteers will be a fundamental component to fire prevention.

Kramer encourages both younger and older people to donate their time to the department. According to Kramer, it teaches individuals teamwork and fosters a sense of comradery that is applicable to everything in life.

To volunteer, visit http://cinnafire.org/education/volunteer/.