CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – With volunteer fire departments in need of volunteers, West Virginia’s Public Service Training has some upcoming “Firefighter 1 Courses” to watch out for.

The Firefighter 1 class includes NFPA 1001 2019 FF 1 Standard, HazMat Awareness/Operations, and First Aid/CPR. Successful completion of this class provides the minimum requirements by the WV State Fire Commission to respond to fire calls. There are online blended learning formats as well as a combined Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 class available.

In order to take this course, students must already be affiliated with a fire department because they will need structural firefighting personal protection equipment (PPE) for each class session.

J.B. Eakle, a firefighter with Valley Volunteer Fire Department, said that those who are interested can stop by or call the department. Students will have to sit in on a few meetings and then the staff will help them find a firefighter 1 course. If funds are available, they will even help pay for it.

Depending on the location of the course, these classes usually take between 20 and 25 students. Pre-class registration attendance is required in order to participate in the course. For example, the next upcoming course will take place on Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. in the Kingwood VFD. All students must attend the session to register for the class, and the class will begin on February 11 at 8:00 a.m. This class will meet on the following dates from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

  • February 11 and 12
  • February 18 and 19
  • February 25 and 26
  • March 4 and 5
  • March 11 and 12
  • March 18 and 19
  • March 25 and 26

If interested in taking one of these courses, first become affiliated with a fire department. When it comes time to take a Firefighter 1 course, you can find available and upcoming classes at this link. Tuition and costs are all around $170, but it will also depend on if your course is being held online or in person.

West Virginia Public Service Training coordinator Mike Freeman told 12 News that anyone wanting to be a firefighter needs the course. “That’s the basic course, you really can’t do anything in the fire department until you get this,” he said. “This is your starting point to get in there. All your local volunteer fire departments are looking for new members, everybody’s struggling so, if it’s something you’re interested in, go to our website, look, and find a class near you.”