Volunteer Information

What it's like being a Volunteer Firefighter for Shawnee County Fire District #1?

Who is Shawnee County Fire District #1?
We are a group of dedicated people committed to providing emergency fire and medical services to the citizens of Grove, Menoken, and Silver Lake Townships and the city of Silver Lake.

How many people are on the fire department?
We currently have two full-time paid personnel who work Mon-Fri from 7:30am to 10:30pm and 25 volunteers.

Who can become a member?
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 65.  We also have a cadet program for youth 14 to 17. We have something to do for everyone!

What is the application process like?
You will need to do the following:
        Complete and return an application
        Meet the approval of the Membership Committee
        Complete a physical agility test

How many hours would I have to put in?
We have 3 hour training sessions on the 2nd and 4th Monday evenings of each month.  Each member is expected to respond to at least 20% of all calls and 50% of all trainings.  In 2001 we responded to 241 calls so 20% of that is approximately 50 calls.

Am I expected to respond while I'm at work?
No.  Although we have a few people whose employers do allow them to respond during work hours, the vast majority respond during their off hours.

Am I on call during certain hours or on certain days?
Our department does not have set shifts where we require people to be on call.  If you are able to respond, we'd love to see you at the scene.  We understand that people have other responsibilities and if we arrive on a scene and find that we don't have enough people, we will call for mutual aid from a neighboring district.

What type of training will I receive?
Each new member of the department is required to go through 20 hours of initial recruit training.  We have various types of training taught on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. You will also be required to maintain a current CPR and hazardous material awareness level training which are both taught in-house.  You will also have the opportunity to attend training taught outside the department such as emergency medical training, regional and state fire schools, and the National Fire Academy.

How soon would I be able to respond to calls?
After your 20 hours of initial training are complete, you will receive your protective gear and pager and can respond to calls as they are paged out.

When can I start driving the fire trucks?
All of our members must receive and maintain a Kansas Class B or higher drivers license.  We will assist you in acquiring a Class B if you don't already possess one. After completing training and practice, you will be allowed to drive.  We pride ourselves on proceeding to and arriving at a scene in a safe manner.

Will I be expected to go into burning buildings after my initial training?
NO!  All trainee members of the department are issued a black helmet that clearly identifies them as being a new member of the department.  You will remain a trainee for a minimum of one year.  During that first year you will be performing most other actions on any emergency scene.  You will never be made to nor you should never attempt to do anything that you don't feel comfortable doing.

 Am I covered by insurance?
Yes.  All members are covered by worker's compensation insurance for on-duty accidents.  We are also covered by $165,000 in life insurance by state and federal agencies for line-of-duty deaths.  The firefighter's relief association also carries disability insurance and a $25,000 permanent life insurance policy that is in effect around the clock.  The permanent life insurance policy is yours to keep after 10 years on the department. The good news is that we have not had a firefighter seriously injured that resulted in lost time in over 20 years.

If you have any other questions, just give us a call or stop by the fire department. You can download and print an application here.


Shawnee County Fire District #1
"Silver Lake Fire"
218 W. Railroad
Silver Lake, Kansas 66539
(785) 582 4667
Info@SilverLakeFire.com