Keeping our community safe is a full time job. As a volunteer organization where our members already have jobs and other responsibilities, we rely on a large number of people, all of which contribute a relatively small amount of their time, to cover the overall need.
Depending on your interests and capabilities, we have a variety of positions to choose from. Be careful, once bitten, it is not at all uncommon for people to add multiple disciplines to their repertoire!
Firefighers have a much more diverse set of skills and responsibilities than most people realize. The obvious skills are sturctural firefighting and to a lesser extent wildland firefighting (yes, we do have a fair number of outdoor fires in southeastern Wisconsin). Additionally, motor vehicle accidents constitute a significant percentage of the calls we respond to. Vehicle extrication ("jaws of life") is a specialty unto itself and working closely with our EMS personal on these calls is of paramount importance. Further, ice rescue opertations fall under the umbrella of firefighter skills and require specialized training and equipment to successfully and safely complete those tasks. Challenages abound, are you up to it?
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Emergence Medical Responders (formerly First Responders) have an equally diverse and no less challenging set of skills and tasks to master. Generally reduced phyical demands are more than made up for by the mental and emotional demands of dealing with injury and illness. While the initial certification and education requirements of EMTs are more demanding than those of firefighters, the potentially more impactful difference in the two disciplines is the "up close and personal" nature of almost all EMS calls. Being a real people-person is definitely a requirement for all EMS personell.
The challenges of being a rescue diver are no greater or lesser than those of EMS or firefighting but they are definitely unique and historically, not for everyone. Rescue diving, while utilizing standard SCUBA equipment and techniques is a far cry from pleasure diving in the crystal clear waters of most resorts. Our divers operate is some of the most challenging and dangerous conditions imaginable. From the zero-visibility and weed-entangled depths of locals lakes and waterways during the wram months, they trade those hazards for freezing-cold water and a foot or more of ice over them in the Winter months.