KOP firefighters looking for live-in recruits

If you are looking for free rent and don’t mind an early morning, afternoon or evening wake-up call, the King of Prussia Fire Department may have a dorm room for you. There is one catch, though: you have to be willing to put out a fire or save someone else’s life.

“Our goal is to make sure we serve our citizens the best that we can by providing a rapid, efficient response,” Mark Ross, Chief of Fire and Rescue at the King of Prussia Fire Department Engine 47, said.

The fire department is looking for four people who have a background in fire training who want to live in the firehouse rent-free.

The minimum requirements are Fire Fighter Certification to NFPA 1001, CPR, AED and First Aid Training Certification. Also, residents must be willing to become certified Vehicle Rescue Technicians within one year.

The program was developed about two years ago, said Ross. It is modeled after other live-in fire stations around the country, he said. The program is ideal for college students, he said, but you don’t have to be a student to apply, he added.

“It was designed as a way to ensure staffing in the firehouse so that we are able to respond with the appropriate number of members in the appropriate response time,” he said.

“Although we are fortunate to have a well-staffed, dedicated volunteer fire department, now, we want to continue to serve in the manner we have in the past.

“We are the only 100-percent-volunteer accredited fire company in the nation,” he said.

“The department does a self-review every year to help us identify our weaknesses and strengths,” Ross said. “The fire department determined that staffing was a weakness.”

This program was developed to address this issue, he said. The cost of the program was $15,000, according to Ross.

“It has all the luxuries of a dorm except it has a siren that wakes them up in the evening,” he said.

The living quarters are like a college dorm, Ross said. There are two people to a room, he said. The room includes a bed, dresser, cable and wireless Internet, Ross said. The dorm room includes a full kitchen and washer and dryer. As members of the fire department, residents will receive membership benefits such as free physicals, a life-insurance policy, uniforms and access to the national credit union, he added.

“Volunteer schedules will vary depending on their work or class schedule,” Ross said. “The ideal resident will be available five consecutive evenings.”

The fire department will continue to provide free training or online courses related to firefighter or emergency training, he said.

“We want to make sure we have support systems in place to support our volunteers, so they can continue what they are doing. If the program is successful, we will expand the program,” he said.

For more information go to www.kpvfc.com or e-mail Deputy Chief Marty Menago, mmenago@kpvfc.com.

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