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News Release
Swift Water Rescue
Swift Water Rescue
Oregon State Fire Fighters Apprenticeship Announces Three New Apprentice Sites - 05/11/24

Oregon, USA - May 9, 2024 - The Oregon State Fire Fighter Joint Apprentice Training Committee is proud to announce the selection of three new apprentice sites: Corvallis Fire Department, Coos Bay Fire Department, and Umatilla Fire District #1. This landmark decision comes as a result of the groundbreaking Oregon House Bill 2294 in the 2023 Session, which allocated funds to establish a Bureau of Labor Industry regulated Fire Fighter Apprentice Program. 

The introduction of the Apprenticeship in Oregon’s Fire Service marks a pivotal moment in the state's firefighting landscape, aiming to attract individuals who may not traditionally consider a career in firefighting. With a strategic focus on BIPOC communities, veterans, and women, the program endeavors to better reflect Oregon’s diverse population. 

Apprenticeship candidates undergo a rigorous selection process, including non-fire service testing, NFPA 1582 Medical Fitness for Duty Exam, and comprehensive background checks. Once accepted into the two-year program, apprentices receive academy training from their respective departments or districts and are subsequently assigned to journey-level firefighters. 

A key component of the program is the completion of Emergency Medical Technician Basic Level training, supplemented by associated college-level coursework in partnership with local community colleges. Upon successful completion of 4000 hours of training and on-the-job experience, apprentices attain journey-level status, equipped with the necessary skills and certifications to embark on their careers in the Oregon Fire Service. 

What sets this program apart from traditional volunteer firefighting roles is that apprentices are compensated for their on-the-job training, eliminating financial barriers that may deter individuals from pursuing a career in firefighting. This initiative addresses the pressing need for a viable career path for those who face economic pressures. 

The selection of Corvallis Fire Department, Coos Bay Fire Department, and Umatilla Fire District #1 as apprentice sites is strategic, considering the workforce diversity challenges these communities encounter. By increasing the "weight of attack" on each shift by 25%, the program not only enhances emergency response capabilities but also ensures that subsequent calls or alarms can be answered promptly, bolstering public safety. 

This program epitomizes a proactive approach to addressing the essential government service needs of our communities. By improving service to the public, enhancing firefighter safety, and creating career opportunities for underrepresented groups, the Oregon State Fire Fighter Joint Apprentice Training Committee is fostering stronger partnerships between the State of Oregon, Fire Departments, and Districts throughout the state. 

In conclusion, the implementation of the Fire Fighter Apprentice Program underscores a commitment to fiscal responsibility, delivering improved outcomes for taxpayers while fortifying the resilience of Oregon's firefighting infrastructure. 

View more news releases from Oregon State Fire Fighters Council.