Join the Team. Become a Volunteer Firefighter!
The City of Madison contracts out its fire protection to six different volunteer fire companies. These fire companies are independent from one another, and they each have their own organizational set of constitutions, by-laws and procedures on how to become a member of their organization.
Although the fire companies have different procedures on how to become a member, they assist one another to train their members just as they work together on the fire ground.
Frequently Asked Questions About Membership
Q. What do I have to do to become a firefighter in the City of Madison?
First of all, a person has to apply and become a member of one of the fire companies that contract with the City of Madison. Once they become a member, unless they can show that they have been certified as a firefighter, they will need to undergo training to give them the basic knowledge and skills as a firefighter. They also need to complete a physical and a fit test on the SCBA mask that they are assigned.
Q. How much training is required to become a firefighter?
Being a firefighter is a dangerous profession and as such, it is important to learn how to do this efficiently, effectively and safely. There are many government and non-governmental entities that require initial “recruit” training and on-going training. Indiana Code, 36-8-10.5, defines the minimum training requirements for firefighters. The requirements include:
- Personal safety
- Forcible entry
- Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
- Hose loads
- Basic recognition of special hazards
- Training on sudden infant death syndrome
- Training on interacting with individuals with autism
- Vehicle emergency response driving safety
Other training requirements have been identified by the Federal government in the forms of OSHA-related training and FEMA. OSHA-related training includes that associated with blood-borne pathogens, SCBA fit testing, etc. FEMA includes training in the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
Some of this training may take the form as Certified Training. Firefighters may become certified as Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 which meets (and exceeds) the requirements as outlined in Indiana Code 36-8-10.5. This training may take more than 100 hours of classroom time and practice of the skills in order to complete. This is followed up with a practical examination and a written (multiple choice) test.
Some of this training is required to be completed periodically, such as SCBA fit testing, and there is other refresher training. The City of Madison requires a minimum of 12 hours annually of structural related firefighting refresher training.
Each fire company may require additional training requirements and certifications.
Q. How much time is involved in being a fire company member?
There is no set amount of time involved. In the first year, the recruit member will find a large amount of time spent in training as indicated above. Continual training will account for possibly 20 or more hours per year. Depending upon the number of runs a firefighter has the opportunity to make may add an additional 25 to 50 hours per year. Each fire company has regularly scheduled meetings (of which some have training afterward).
In addition to the above, a firefighter may wish to take a role in his/her fire company which may add additional time associated with being a member. For example, each fire company has an engineer who takes care of the apparatus. And, each fire company has captains, lieutenants, training officers, a president, a secretary, a treasurer, etc.
Q. How much do I get paid for being a member?
All members are volunteers and are not paid.
There are a few roles at the fire companies that are compensated based upon the fire companies constitution/bylaws and the amount and type are specific to that fire company.
The City of Madison reimburses firefighters for mileage and clothing allowance at the end of the year.
Q. What areas/districts does each fire company support?
The City of Madison is separated into two main districts. The downtown area is listed as District 1 and the Hilltop is classified as District 2.
The first alarm responses are as follows:
- Fair Play Fire Co. #1 – First Alarm District 1 (also responds with Clifty 6 for all vehicle extrications within the City)
- Washington Fire Co. #2 – First Alarm District 1
- Western Fire Co. #3 – First Alarm Districts 1 & 2
- Walnut Street Fire Co. #4 – First Alarm Districts 1 & 2
- North Madison Volunteer Fire Co. #5 – First Alarm District 2
- Clifty Volunteer Fire Co. #6 – First alarm District 2 (responds to all technical rescues within the City and many surrounding areas)
There are other fire companies in the county including Madison Township, Rykers Ridge, Kent and Hanover. We assist each other in what is called mutual aid, and we also train with one another.
Q. How many runs a year does each fire company respond to?
The number and type of runs change from season to season and year to year, but in general, there are around 100 incidents per year in which 50 are located in District 1 and 50 are located in District 2. These do not take into account training, fund raising, public education, pre-plan tours. The City of Madison Fire Department does not respond to EMS runs as this is covered by the local hospital.
Q. What are the six fire companies and their contact information?
Fair Play Fire Company No. 1
405 E. Main St., Madison, IN 47250
Phone: (812) 265-4949
Washington Fire Company No. 2
104 W. Third St., Madison, IN 47250
Phone: (812) 265-3338
Western Fire Company No. 3
815 W. Main St., Madison, IN 47250
Phone: (812) 265-2712
Walnut Street Fire Company No. 4
424 Walnut St., Madison, IN 47250
Phone: (812) 265-2333
North Madison Volunteer Fire Company No. 5
1825 Allen St., Madison, IN 47250
Phone: (812) 273-4510
Clifty Volunteer Fire Company No. 6
631 W. Clifty Dr., Madison, IN 47250
Phone: (812) 273-4510