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How to join

What would you do if your house was on fire and nobody showed up?  Most structure fires can be contained to one room by fast arriving personnel and equipment.

What if you were trapped in your car and needed a life saving procedure done immediately, and nobody showed up?  After a severe car crash, most patients enter into the Golden Hour.  The rate of survival greatly increases if the patient arrives at the hospital within 60 minutes of the injury. With skilled people on scene we can extricate a victim usually within a few minutes and get them to the hospital as quick as possible.

In New Bern, this kind of action would not be possible without volunteers.  We arrive with the first arriving trucks, put on our gear and go into harm's way to help people.  We fight fires, perform vehicle extrications, as well as respond to HazMat situations, such as gas leaks.  These are dangerous jobs that must be done as safe as possible. The New Bern Fire Department needs motivated people seeking challenges, who are willing to work hard in order to meet them.

 New Bern Fire is a combination department.  Many towns the size of New Bern have entirely paid departments.  We do not. Volunteers are needed and the department depends on them. If you wish to join the department as a volunteer please contact me at  I will put you in touch with the proper person. 

We do have some requirements.  You must be at least 18 and live within 1 mile of the city limits.  Thats pretty much all it takes to become eligible.  You will have to fill out an application and provide us with your driving record and criminal background.  You will then be interviewed in person by a committee of three to five people.  After successfully completing the interview your name and the committee's recommendation for or against will be put before the rest of the members and we will decide whether of not to accept the applicant.  This sounds very complicated but in practice, its not.

After being accepted into the membership, you will be issued turnout gear and a pager.  You will be placed on probation for a period of at least six months.  This can be extended by the membership if deemed necessary.

To stay an active member, you must respond to at least 20% of the alarms and attend half of the monthly meetings a year.  The meetings requirement can be forgiven for adequate reasons, i.e. you work nights or are out of town.  Also the biggest requirement we make is that you must receive at least 36 hours of training a year.  This is a state requirement and must be maintained.

Thats what is required, now for what NBFD provides.  First off, a sense of comradeship.  You will be surrounded by dedicated professionals and some of the finest men and women in New Bern.  We are a professional organization that provides a valuable service to the community.  It doesn't happen every day, but occasionally a citizen will walk up to you after seeing their house burn down and thank you.  You will have the opportunity to assist and help someone in what is probably a life changing event.

New Bern Fire will pay for all training that you need and want.  If the school happens to be out of town, the department will pay room and board as well as transportation.  Most training can be accomplished in the local area, but often we go to Wilmington or Fayetteville for specialized training for a weekend.

You will be covered by the city of New Bern's insurance policy should you become injured.  Also, the volunteers have their own insurance that will kick in and help.  You will be eligible for life insurance through the state, as well as be enrolled in a pension plan with the state.  To obtain the retirement, you must serve for 20 years and be 55 years of age.

If you ever thought about becoming a firefighter, check us out.  This is an exciting way of giving something back to the community.  Once we get you trained, fighting fire is an adrenaline rush like you have never experienced before.


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