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Written by Super User

Download the Application for Membership Here



Why should you be a Volunteer?


There are just over 100 members in the Ridge Fire Department. They come from every part of our fire district and from every walk of life. They are office workers, construction workers, nurses, police officers, computer technicians, sales people, managers and students..... just to mention a few. They are your neighbors.... men and women just like you who, for one reason or another took the initiative to submit an application.


There are many reasons to become a volunteer. Some of those reasons will differ between individuals, while others remain constant! For nearly everyone, the number one reason is simply the desire to help others in their greatest moments of need. Firefighters and EMS personnel are trained and skilled to respond to all kinds of emergencies from heart attacks to structure fires and there is no greater feeling than when those skills are used to save a life or someone's home. For others there may be a need to be part of the community and to get involved. The fire department is very involved in the community. We not only respond to emergencies but, we provide fire prevention education through our schools, churches, scouting organizations and fire prevention open-houses, we have provided CPR and first aid training to community groups, supported local charities and provided meals for needy residents during the holidays; and, each year we hold a Christmas party, Santa Ride and Easter Egg Hunt for the children. For a young person starting out in life, it might be the excitement that draws them in but they will soon find that membership provides them with a sense of pride and direction. Perhaps it will even lead them to a career in one of many related fields. Our members continuously strive to improve their skills and to advance our Department's ability to respond emergencies. Membership has its privileges too..... by joining the Ridge Fire Department you will become part of an organization that has a great deal of pride in itself and its accomplishments. You will also become part of a large social network where members become more like an extended family than co-workers. There is no doubt that as a member, you will meet many new people and make new friends.


Age Requirements
Applicants for the Explorer Program must be between 14 and 18 years old. Applicants for all other categories must be over 18 years old.


Cost & Expenses
For the most part, all of your expenses are covered by either the Ridge Fire District or Ridge Fire Department. The District will provide you with the gear and equipment necessary to perform your duties as a volunteer. Most of the training that you will receive is either paid for or supplemented by Suffolk County. The Ridge Fire District will pay for approved costs above this, such as for Emergency Medical Technician training or outside courses. The Ridge Fire District will also provide your insurance coverage, blue light, dress uniforms and other essential items. The Ridge Fire Department also provides for many of the items not paid for by the District, such as social and Department sponsored activities. Members would incur the cost of fuel to respond to the fire house and the cost of items that they elect to purchase above those that are provided, such as extra fire department shirts or jackets. Most of these items, including the cost of fuel is tax deductible.


All training will be provided at no cost to you.


Educational Requirements
There are no specific educational requirements, however, Members and Explorers still attending high school are required to maintain their grades until they graduate.


Generally, applicants must live or own a business within the Ridge Fire District. In certain cases, we may accept applicants from just outside our District. These cases are reviewed individually and should be discussed with a Chief at the time of application.


Women in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services
There are many women in the fire and emergency services and the Ridge Fire Department is no exception. Women are an essential part of our Department, particularly in EMS where they make up the majority of our EMS only members. In fact, we have one female firefighter member that has served for over 25 years.


Time commitment
Your probationary period will be the hardest! This is generally the first year. You will be required to attend a formal training program provided by Suffolk County. Firefighters will attend a Firefighter level I training program and EMS personnel will attend an Emergency Medical Technician program. These outside training requirements do not apply to the Explorer program. During your probationary period, you will also be required to attend a certain percentage of in-house drills, trainings, meetings and alarm responses. These requirements are are at their highest level during the probationary period and are gradually reduced after probation and with seniority. A Member having completed probation would have to attend a minimum of one regular training per month. six of twelve monthly meetings and 15% of alarms for firefighters and fire police or 10% for EMS personnel. Explorers do not respond to alarms.


The benefits of being a volunteer are many. First and foremost is the self satisfaction that you will get out of helping others in time of their greatest need. This is a partial list of both monetary and non-monetary benefits. They are in no particular order.


  • Self esteem & personal growth
  • Community involvement
  • Potential Career Avenue
  • Training & education in fire fighting, first aid, CPR, rescue and many other related topics
  • Comradery and Social activities
  • Life insurance coverage
  • Service Award Program (similar to a pension program)
  • Medical, indemnity and life insurance benefits for line of duty injuries
  • Future County & Town tax reductions




Application Process


  • Upon receipt of your application for membership, it will be announced at our next regular meeting.
  • Once your application is announced a Chief will contact you to schedule a screening interview. During the screening interview you will learn more about the application process and what will be expected of you once you join. You will also have the opportunity to ask any additional questions that you may have.
  • Following the screening interview the Department will request an arson police background check, as is required by New York State law.
  • As soon as the above two steps have been completed the Department Screening Committee will present your application to the general membership to be voted upon.
  • If accepted by the Department members you will be provided with instructions on where to go for your Department Medical. This is paid for by the Ridge Fire District.
  • As soon as we receive confirmation that you have passed your physical you will be asked to appear before the Ridge Fire District Board of Commissioners At their next regular meeting. At that time you will be sworn in by the Chief of Department.




Congratulations, you are now a probationary member of the Department!

For More Information


The Department trains on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.  You will generally find someone at each of our fire houses on those days. Just stop in and someone will be happy to show you around and answer your questions. You may also email your questions to:  tkern (AT) Ridgefiredistrict.org


or you can call one of our stations and ask for an officer. Phone numbers and station addresses are located on our main page 


How To Apply


You can download and print an Application for Membership or if you do not have access to a printer you can either pick up an application at any of our stations or email it to the above email address and we will mail one to you. Applications can be dropped off at one of our stations or can be Mailed to: Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, P. O. Box 500, Ridge, NY 11961-0500.


Categories of Membership



Applicants joining as firefighters are required to attend firefighter school and complete the Firefighter Level I Training program. The classes are given continuously throughout the county and there is no charge to the applicant. At the end of this program there is a hands on evolution at the Suffolk Count Fire Training Academy and an exam. Applicants must complete this program within their probationary period. Transferring firefighters who have already completed this program will not be required to retake it. In addition to this external training, probationary firefighters are required to attend a minimum of two drills per month (more is suggested). The Department drills every Sunday morning except for holidays and there is usually one week night drill per month as well. Since our companies are broken up geographically rather than by function (i.e., engine company, ladder company, rescue company) all firefighters are trained for and respond to all types of emergencies and perform all of the tasks required. Firefighters are classified into two categories, Interior and exterior. The difference between the two categories is that there are certain restrictions placed on exterior firefighters. In order to maintain interior firefighter status, members must pass a periodic physical, pass a respirator fit test and complete a series of required annual drills. Firefighters can, and are encouraged but not required to, respond to ambulance calls as well. Any firefighter, upon completion of his/her basic firefighter training can enroll in an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training program.


Fire Police

Fire Police is a new classification within the Ridge Fire Department added in 2003. This position is intended to fulfill the need for certain support personnel during a fire or other emergency. The primary function of the fire police unit is to control the scene and traffic and to assist in evacuations. This position is ideal for those that want to serve the community through the fire department but either do not want to fight fires or can not pass the firefighter requirements.


EMS / Ambulance Personnel

Individuals that whish to provide ambulance and emergency medical services can do so by joining in this capacity. Although the ambulance service is provided through the fire department, these members are not required to fight fires and their training requirements are centered around EMS. An applicant joining as an EMS provider will be required to attend and complete an Emergency Medical Technician course during their probationary period. Since our ambulances respond to and provide medical and support services at all alarms including fires and car accidents, EMS providers are also given an abbreviated fire fighting course for familiarity. If after completing probation, an EMS provider wishes to become a firefighter they may request a transfer. Any member transferring to firefighter would then be required to complete the same level of firefighter training as is outline above.