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Yes, the training and testing standards are developed to assure that personnel are well equipped to perform effectively in emergency situations. The standards do not vary for gender or for age.
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Paid-On-Call Firefighters (POCFFs) and Career Firefighters work together to provide 24-hour emergency coverage to the Oak Harbor community.
POCFFs were once called "volunteer firefighters". They still volunteer their time to train, respond to emergency incidents, and work shifts; but they are paid for each hour of their time and are not assigned to a specific schedule.
POCFFs obtain the same training and certifications as career firefighters. Many enter fire service as POCFFs with the desire to become career firefighters. Because they determine their own level of participation and set their own schedules, many participate simply to serve their community and maintain employment outside of fire service.
POCFFs are a distinct class of individuals who are paid by the City of Oak Harbor on an on-call basis. They are not eligible for many City-provided benefits. Some benefits are available through the Washington State Board for Reserve Officers and Volunteer Firefighters.
Entry-Level POCFFs are hired through an application process with the City of Oak Harbor Human Resources department through open recruiting periods as needed. Successful applicants are sponsored through an initial academy period to obtain knowledge and skills required to pass the IFSAC Firefighter 1 certification test.
When there is a vacant Career Firefighter position, it is filled using an eligibility list created by National Testing Network, Inc. To complete an application and schedule testing, visit the National Testing Network website.
Yes, POCFFs are paid an hourly wage for time spent training, responding to emergency incidents and filling shifts at Station 81.
POCFFs serve in all positions up to Captain. How far you advance depends upon your initiative.
All uniforms and protective gear are provided by Oak Harbor Fire Department. Personnel are issued uniforms and equipment on the quartermaster system and are required to return issued items when they leave the department. Exiting personnel are held responsible for the replacement cost of items not returned.
All OHFD firefighters are paid for time spent training, responding to emergency incidents and filling 12-hour night or day shifts. Firefighters who are not full-time/Career Firefighters are called Paid-On-Call Firefighters (POCFFs).
We have one volunteer Chaplain position.
Firefighters must be able to climb ladders and stairs, lift and pull hose, and wear moderately heavy protective clothing when responding to an emergency. Candidates are required to pass a physical ability test which includes climbing a 100-foot aerial ladder, lifting weights, completing sit-ups, squats and chin-ups, balance and flexibility tests and a 1-mile run.
Even with prior training, entry-level recruits will be required to attend training to obtain their IFSAC Firefighter I certification. If you have already earned your Firefighter I certificate you will not be required to attend the academy (in most cases), but will be required to work through OHFD certifications as a new recruit and complete the OHFD probationary manual.
Successful applicants to the POCFF program will possess the minimum qualifications listed below:
OHFD will assume the cost of all testing examinations for POCFF candidates.
Due to the rigorous nature of emergency services work, POCFFs responding in this capacity must be in excellent health and physical condition. The physical agility tests and medical examination are intended to identify any health problems which may place the candidate at a higher risk of injury. These examinations must be passed to become a POCFF.
Entry-level Paid-On-Call Firefighters without Firefighter I certification will be sponsored through the Oak Harbor Fire Academy to obtain training hours required for the certification.
This training takes place at Oak Harbor Fire Department and is generally once each year, usually from January through May. The schedule is designed to allow participants to continue their full-time jobs while training to be POC Firefighters.
Each academy session prepares recruits for the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) Firefighter 1 certification exam. The Firefighter 1 certificate is recognized across the nation; it requires 130 credit hours of training and successfully completing a written and fire ground practical exam to obtain.
Please visit the Washington State Patrol Office of the State Fire Marshal website for more information on accreditation and certification.
Applications for entry-level Paid-on-Call Firefighters (POC) are taken during active recruiting sessions, as needed. Successful applicants will begin training and an initial academy period - usually 6-9 months of training held on mostly weekends and evenings.
Lateral-POC Firefighters (with Firefighter I certification) are invited to apply at any time. For an application, please contact City of Oak Harbor Human Resources at 360-279-4518. The process to become a POC Firefighter:
When there is an emergency call, firefighters will respond to Station 81 on Whidbey Avenue. Oak Harbor Fire Department POCFFs serve the City of Oak Harbor.
The Washington State Board for Volunteer Firefighters and Reserve Officers provides on-duty insurance coverage for all POCFFs. This includes injuries received while responding, on the scene, or returning from an incident, while on stand-by at the station, and while attending department training and/or meetings. Coverage includes auto liability while operating fire apparatus, accidental death and disability, medical and comprehensive liability.