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Estacada's fire district seeks volunteers

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: ESTACADA RURAL FIRE DISTRICT - The Estacada Rural Fire District is seeking volunteer firefighters. Pictured here, crews work on Fellows Road.

The Estacada Rural Fire District is seeking people interested in joining a volunteer firefighting academy.

The academy will be held by the Department of Safety Standards Training in Salem, and classes will be held on weekends between April and June.

Estacada Division Chief Richard Anderson said the district usually gets about four new volunteer firefighters per year, and they play a significant role in the district.

“The majority of our firefighters are volunteers,” Anderson said. “We really rely on them.”

Topics that will be covered at the academy include safety, fire behavior and acting as an incident commander.

Anderson encouraged anyone interested in the program to discuss it with their families and consider the time commitment, which is 16 to 20 hours per month.

“We can teach all of the skills, but you have to be able to balance it with work and family,” Anderson said.

Anderson sees many benefits to becoming a part of the fire department, including the variety of work that is done.

“There are always new challenges,” he said. “You never know what will happen on any day.”

He noted that for most volunteers, firefighting becomes a lifelong commitment.

“(Firefighting) is the most challenging but rewarding thing I’ve done,” Anderson said. “It’s the biggest honor to help someone in their time of need.”

Applications for the academy are available on the district's website, www.estacadafire.org, or in person at the district's office, 445 S.E. Currin St. Applications are due by Feb. 1.