If you are a prepper who lives in a smaller community, you should join your Volunteer Fire Department. This morning I was watching the news on the large wildfire that is currently burning in Southern California. It has already destroyed over 51 square miles and forced over 20,000 people from their homes as of the date of this article.
Now, this seems like a large fire, and it is, but I believe that after TEOTWAWKI, wildfires could be much larger and more frequent. The other day I had a discussion with some other retired wildland firefighters on this subject. We agreed that without any proper fire suppression efforts, a fire that started in the spring, say early June, could burn until October or November. During this period, it would destroy hundreds of thousands of acres of land and many homes.
Over the years, I have written several articles or how to protect your home from wildfires. I have given lists of tools and the amount of clearance you should have around your home to help protect it. I have suggested several times that you need to get some training in how to fight and survive a wildfire.
After a lot of thought, I feel that for many of you, the best option is to join your local volunteer fire department. I understand that not everywhere has them, but if they are available, you will get many benefits from joining.
If you are like many people and have just moved into a rural area and don’t know many people, this is a great way to meet good service minded people. But whether you are new or have been in an area forever, you will get the following benefits.
- Firefighting training and experience, both wildland and structural
- Learn what you need to know to protect your own home
- First aid training and the chance to use it to benefit your friends and neighbors
- A good set of fire turnouts you will get to keep at home: helmet, jacket, pants and boots
- Learn to drive and operate a fire truck
- Learn the area and about the people in it
- If they have a search and rescue unit you will have additional chance to learn new skills.
- You will be an asset to your community
- Good positive contact with local law enforcement and other emergency responders
The contacts that you make here may benefit you both now and after TEOTWAWKI. You’ll be considered a valuable part of the community and an “insider”, as well as get a lot of free training. In fact, volunteer work with emergency response organizations in general is a smart move for preppers.
If you are physically able, take advantage of these opportunities.