Volunteer FAQ

How old do I have to be to join?

To apply as a probationary member you must be at least 18 years old. Our Explorer Program is open to high school students who are at least 14 years old.

Do I need previous training or experience to join?

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

Do I get paid?

No, volunteers are not paid. You will, however, reap the rewards of serving your community and acquiring new skills within the fire service!

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

Not at all! We understand that our members have lives outside of the firehouse – families, jobs, school, etc. However, most of our members choose to attend fire duty crews multiple times a month to help staff fire apparatus to protect the community. 

Do I need to buy my own firefighting equipment?

You do not! Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder Company issues complete personal protective equipment (PPE) for firefighting 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, is in good condition, and is approved by the Chief's office.

What are your probationary member requirements?

Each probationary member will be required to complete the following:

What is the process to become a interior firefighter?

If you come to us with prior training you will be evaluated by the Chief's office and may have modified requirements to become an interior cleared firefighter.  If you come to us with no prior training you will need to complete either the New Castle County Fire Academy or Basic Firefighting and Structural Firefighting Skills at Delaware State Fire School.  You will then need to complete a series of live burns, practical, written, and verbal tests with the chief's office to meet the requirements for an interior cleared firefighter. 

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.