How old do I have to be to join?

To apply as a probationary member you must be at least 18 years old.

Do I have to live in Aetna's district to join?

No. We have many members from other parts of the state along with members who join from out of state.

Do I need previous training or experience?

No. Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder Company will provide the training which you need. If you bring a willingness to learn and a can-do attitude, we’ll provide the rest.

What qualifications do I need before I apply?

The major requirements are:

A strong interest in serving your community and a willingness to learn.

A background check clear of crimes covered under: 16 Delaware Code §6647

The rest of the specific requirements are covered in our application

How long does it take to become a member, after submitting the application?

The application process can take between weeks and months depending on the speed of criminal background checks from the state. After you apply and your criminal background check is transmitted by the state to the fire company, you will be contacted to schedule an interview. If you pass the background check and interview the company will admit you as a probationary member. If you have applied but have not heard from us please contact: reviewboard@aetnahhl.org

Do I have to be certified as both a firefighter and EMT?

No. Although many of our members are interested in being both a firefighter and an EMT, others decide that one is more appealing than the other and they focus on one over the other. It is also common to start with one and to add the other discipline later.

How long does it take to complete probation?

Typically, the probationary period is one year long. The minimum is 1 year or until the member is 20 years old (the longer of the two). The probationary period can be extended if additional time is required to complete the required tasks. After completion of probation, the member will be accepted into the company as a full member.

I was a firefighter somewhere else, does my training transfer?

The chief’s office will review your training records and let you know what additional classes may be needed. Expect at a minimum to attend our orientation class. In house training is required for all members to help them become familiar with our operations and our equipment, no matter what their previous experience may be.

Do volunteers work shifts or have to commit to set schedules?

There is no requirement to work a set shift or set schedule. However, most members find it beneficial to attend (Fire) Duty Crews or Ambulance Crews as an opportunity to respond on calls and to participate on one-on-one training with a senior member.

Do I have to respond every time there is a call?

No. We understand that our members have lives outside of the firehouse--families, jobs, school, etc. But, in general most of our members who live within responding distance choose to respond when they know their community needs them.

Do I need to buy my own fire fighting equipment?

Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder Company issues complete personal protective equipment (PPE) for fire fighting to our members, including boots, bunker gear, helmet, hood and gloves. The issued gear remains property of the fire company. Some members choose to purchase personal equipment such as leather fire helmets or to carry personal tools such as flashlights. This is permitted as long as the gear meets current recognized standards and is in good condition.

Do you ride on the back of the trucks?

No, all firefighters ride inside the cab and are required to wear seatbelts while the vehicle is in motion.

Do you have a fire-pole?

No, all of our stations have bunk rooms on the first floor or in a separate building so we have no need for a fire pole.