The Resident Firefighter Program started in the early 70’s. Resident Firefighters were called sleepers then; young men and women attending school worked shifts at the fire station in exchange for a room at no charge. If there was a call, they would go along and provide extra staffing. Training was limited for the sleeper, as they were usually only there for short periods of time.
Today’s Resident Firefighter has developed into a whole new program to help provide 24-hour service to the citizens of the Wenatchee Valley. Resident Firefighters live at our fire stations and are enrolled in the Fire Science Degree Program at Wenatchee Valley College. Residents commit to the district for two years while attending school, receiving training and valuable experience. Residents must be 18 years of age, must maintain a valid Washington State Driver’s License, and be insurable by the Fire Department's insurance carrier. The Fire Department provides the safety gear as well as work uniforms. When the Resident is on shift, they perform the same duties as the career firefighters. They are required to respond to incidents, perform routine truck and equipment checks, assist with fire prevention and education programs, station maintenance, etc. A Resident is assigned to a shift and will work as part of the on-duty crew except while in class as part of the WVC Fire Science Program.
At the end of the Fire Science Program, Residents will receive an ATS (Associate of Technical Science) degree of Fire Science transferable to Eastern Oregon University (EOU) for a 4 year degree in fire science (Click here for EOU link) two years of on the job training and the following certifications:
IFSAC Firefighter 1
IFSAC Firefighter 2
IFSAC Hazmat Operations
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
NWCG Wildland Firefighter 2
ITAC Basic and Advanced (fire tactics)
This is an excellent starting place for anyone interested in a full-time career in the fire service; in fact, Wenatchee Valley Fire has had many Resident Firefighters hired throughout the State. To get more information on the program, eligibility, and how to apply please contact our Volunteer Coordinator.
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During my residency, Chelan County Fire District 1's phenomenal leadership, demand for excellence, and supportive learning environment set me up for success - and ultimately led to me being hired as a career firefighter/EMT by the Anchorage Fire Department.
In the 15 months I was with CCFD1 I was challenged both professionally and personally. Through the Recruit Academy, I progressed from someone with no fire experience to someone competent and confident enough to support the line staff on shift. I experienced ample opportunity to develop skills I was introduced to in the academy - while also building invaluable lifelong relationships and having a tremendous amount of fun along the way.
CCFD1 is the kind of organization that is wholeheartedly committed to their members’ success and wellbeing - I would strongly suggest that anyone interested in the fire service (whether you have experience or not) to look into ways to become involved with the department.