The Town of Paradise is a combination department with full-time CAL FIRE firefighters and Town recruited citizen volunteer firefighters.
The volunteers meet regularly for training. Training is done cooperatively with Butte County Fire and includes all basic firefighting skills: first aid, ladders, breathing apparatus use, hose streams, vehicle extrication, etc. This ongoing training is in addition to their eight week initial basic operations training course that includes specific basics and is concluded by a live fire training scenario at the Butte College Fire Academy Burn Building.
Although the Volunteer Firefighters do not usually ride on the apparatus, they do occasionally spend the day or night at the station for a “sleeper shift", answering calls with the engine company. Normally, the Volunteer Firefighters are dispatched directly to fires from their home or work and respond in their private vehicles to assist the paid personnel as directed by the incident commander.
Some volunteers serve the community in support functions and do not fight fire. They too are an integral part of all larger fire and storm related incidents. Their duties include bringing drinks to the fire line, traffic control, protecting citizens from downed power lines, maintaining accountability worksheets, and other duties to assist the incident commander.
Another function of the volunteers is fundraising as the Paradise Volunteer Firefighters Inc., is a non-profit organization (503c). Funds raised help purchase needed equipment for the Town, specifically and exclusively for the fire department. Utility 2, a full size Ford Van and a set of Holmatro Extrication Tools are two examples of items purchased by this organization. The Paradise Volunteer Firefighters Inc. accepts donations to help supplement and assist the Paradise FireDepartment. Donations may be sent to the Paradise Volunteer Firefighters Inc., 767 Birch Street, Paradise, CA 95969.
Annual recruitment for Town of Paradise residents who are interested in becoming a Volunteer Firefighter is done in conjunction with Butte County Fire in the months of August and September. This is followed by an informational meeting in October for all interested parties. The meeting will consist of an overview of the requirements to be a Volunteer Firefighter, and applications will be distributed to prospective volunteers at that time.
For more information about becoming a Paradise Volunteer Firefighter, go to www.joinbcfd.org and submit a Volunteer Firefighter Interest Form.