"9-1-1, What is your emergency?" is a phrase that nobody ever wants to hear in their lifetime. But, unfortunately, it happens more often than one might think. The nature of the emergency determines which agency or agencies respond. In Berea and its immediate outlying areas, if the emergency is not solely medical or legal, you are most likely going to receive a firefighter. But what exactly does that mean?
The Berea Fire Department and the Berea Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department operate as a combination department. Although the two departments are separate, both departments are comprised of firefighters that work closely on a day to day basis. Both departments train together, respond together and rely on each other to operate efficiently.
The career fire service has been notoriously difficult for those without experience to break into. Physical agility testing, knowledge about position availability, and training hour requirements for certified firefighters can often make joining the fire service a daunting prospect for those new to the field.
As a result, volunteer departments, like Berea Volunteer Fire and Rescue, act as an important springboard to a career within the fire service. Berea Volunteer Fire and Rescue has had great success in training up and preparing their members for career departments.
Within the last three months, six members of Berea Volunteer Fire and Rescue have been hired on to career fire departments, including Berea Fire Department, Richmond Fire Department and Madison County Fire Department. Over the last several years, members have also been hired on with Nicholasville Fire Department, Lexington Fire Department, Winchester Fire Department, Bluegrass Airport ARFF and Walton Fire Protection District.
Of the 26 full time members of the Berea fire department, 15 started out with the Berea volunteer fire department. Ten of the 11 who didn't start with the Berea volunteer fire department started their career with another fire department in another city. That's 25 of 26 career firefighters beginning their career as a volunteer firefighter. Additionally, the Berea volunteer fire department has nine members on its department that are employed by other full-time departments. The Berea fire department currently has five members who volunteer their free time to their hometown volunteer fire departments.
We at the City of Berea and Berea Fire Department would like to recognize all of the dedicated members of Berea Volunteer Fire and Rescue and sincerely thank you for your service and hard work!