First up in our series on First Responders: let’s highlight Sussex County’s volunteer firefighters.
Did you realize that there are 22 Volunteer Fire Companies across Sussex County? The parent organization of Sussex County’s Volunteer Firefighters Association, the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association (or DVFA), established in 1921 celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year.
In our series that gives shout-outs to first responders, we are highlighting the selfless efforts of these brave volunteers because we believe every resident of southern DE should make themselves aware of the sacrifices made for our well being and safety. These heroes give their time, their distinct training and their innate sense of responsibility week in and out, for us all!
Always ON CALL, volunteer firefighters often give up their personal and family time – whenever duty calls. Highly trained in emergency response through the Delaware’s State Fire School, firefighters are on the scene of man-made or natural disasters alike. They are skilled in fighting arson, wildfires, chemical accidents, auto accidents and countless other situations requiring emergency personnel across the board.
If you’ve ever chanced upon the scene of a traffic accident or other medical emergency, you’ve probably noticed that fire companies are often the first to arrive at the scene – even ahead of the ambulances. Here’s why. Firefighters are required to go through EMT training before attending fire school.
While EMTs respond to emergency medical situations, firefighters are highly trained with additional expertise in pretty much every emergency scenario. In fact, most emergencies firefighters respond to are medically-related – not fires. Some estimates convey that between 70-90 per cent of the calls they respond to are medically-related.
They are also trained for response for natural disasters, rescues and other volatile situations. With the exception of the City of Wilmington, which has a large, professional firefighting force, all other Delaware fire companies are volunteer. And that is not mentioned to undermine in any way the relevance of guarding the state’s largest city. In fact, Wilmington’s fire department has an additional marine firefighting force within its impressive ranks, and often assists with other potential maritime accidents elsewhere on our waterways.
The distinction is mentioned to emphasize the sacrifices and motivations it requires for Sussex Counties’ volunteer army of heroes. They are truly dedicated, as are their members of their supportive Auxiliary.
Another important aspect – and perhaps most importantly – a great deal of firefighters’ efforts are to educate the public about fire prevention. May 15, for example starts Home Fire Sprinkler Week, during which there are numerous of events and outreach projects to teach the public the importance of fire PREVENTION!
Support your local municipality’s volunteer firefighters. They are heroic first responders truly committed to public safety. Far beyond the occasional iconic cat rescue from a tree, their heroism is in their awesome dedication to the safety and care of others.