Student volunteers join Woodburn Fire District
Four Chemeketa Community College students have joined the Woodburn Fire District's student resident volunteer program, the district announced this week.
Abigail Frey, Nolan Moore, Jared Redmon and Noah Wierstra joined the program recently, each working toward completing fire-science and paramedic-degree programs through Chemeketa Community College.
The new students join current student volunteers Troy Jordan, Zack Richardson and Brock Rogers.
The student program is partially funded by a four-year federal grant that was awarded to the fire district in 2018. The grant provides tuition assistance, personal protective gear and uniform items for volunteer firefighters. The goal is to support students and volunteers as they gain training certifications and real-life work experience in the response to fires, motor vehicle accidents and emergency medical incidents under the supervision of career firefighters and experienced volunteers.
For information about the student resident program and other volunteer firefighter opportunities, contact the Woodburn Fire District Recruitment and Retention Coordinator Jason Thompson at 503-982-2360.
WFD Chief Joe Budge said the student resident volunteer program helps students achieve their goal of becoming career firefighters, as well as provides a valuable service to the community.
"During the September wildfires, the students helped in covering the high volume of in-district emergency calls and participated in the assistance provided to other fire districts in the region that were impacted by the fires," Budge said. "Student programs play an important role in training and preparing the next generation of professional firefighters."
The students — housed at Station 22 on James Street in Woodburn and Station 24 on River Road in the Waconda area — are responsible for cleaning and maintaining their home station and the stations' emergency response fire vehicles and equipment. The firefighters-in-training gain experience and mentorship riding along with career Woodburn firefighters responding from the main station on Newberg Highway.
Students typically spend two to three years in the program, and are required to be enrolled full time in a fire service degree or paramedic training program.
Students must also meet physical fitness requirements and attain certifications that allow them to enter burning structures, treat patients experiencing medical emergencies and operate the district's fire response vehicle and equipment.
"The Woodburn Fire District has a long tradition of mentoring students en route to careers in the fire service," Budge said. "The students help meet the fire district's mission to the community by assisting other volunteers in the response to overlapping emergency calls and public service duties.
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