What It’s Like – An Informational Session on Joining a Volunteer Fire Department

Are you interested in volunteering with your local volunteer fire department? The best way to see what it’s like to be a volunteer firefighter is to hear the perspectives of people who do it each day. Join the National Volunteer Fire Council for this free informational session to hear from three experienced volunteer firefighters on training and safety requirements; a “day in the life;” administrative firefighters; juggling family, friends, and careers; questions to ask; leadership expectations; and the benefits of volunteering. Stay for the last segment of the session for an open question and answer discussion.

This session is possible thanks to support from the Motorola Solutions Foundation.

Eric N. Bernard

Mr. Bernard began his public safety career as a volunteer EMT at the age of 15. After serving for the US Navy and the DEA, he became a firefighter/rescuer with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department in Maryland. He is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association.

Sheri Nickel

Sheri  Nickel has been a volunteer firefighter for 21 years serving in many different roles including Fire Chief. She is now the first female Administrative Director for the Oklahoma State Firefighter’s Association after being promoted from her role as the Recruitment and Retention Coordinator. Ms. Nickel also serves on the board of the NVFC.

Mike Bucy


Chief Bucy serves Stevens 1 Fire-Rescue, a rural, combination fire district in Washington, and has been in the fire service for 35 years, including 15 years as a volunteer. Chief Bucy also serves as a logistics officer for a type III incident management team and is regularly deployed to wildland fire incidents across the state.


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