So, after getting back from a family visit to Long Island / the Jersey Shore, I've taken an interest in volunteer firefighting (a neighbor of some family is a Vol FF). Being that VFD's are near non-existant in the San Diego area, it took me a while to research it all, but I did it, and the two neighboring cities (one of which I go to school in) have 'em.
I'm really considering this, especially in city in which I go to school because it's dang close (down the street from my school) and as a plus, the academy is through a local community college that's got a partnership with my school (and I could get college credit for it).
I have contact info for both of these departments, but before I contact either of them, I wanted to see if I could get some info from other parties (assuming it's at least somewhat similar).
Here are a few questions I've got:
(1) What's the difference between a volunteer fire department and a reserve fire department? Of the two towns that have them which I'm lookin' at, one is a volunteer fire department and the other is a reserve fire department. (FYI, both of these cities have full-time, paid FD's, too.)
(2) What's your general time committment as a volunteer fire department? I realize it's volunteer and not full-time, but how difficult is it to, for example, take a vacation? (Again, note that in this case, both of these volunteer fire departments aren't the "main force" as in a lot of east-coast towns. The paid FD's are pretty dang huge. Not sure if that'll help this question a bit, but hey.)
(3) If any of you here are volunteer firefighters, what would your opinion be on getting involved while in high school? Is the age requirement usually 18? (I'm asking this because I read a story about a high school senior (local high school) who passed through the academy with one of these departments. (Link to story.)