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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, and no. Technically we are considered a combination department. There is a full-time fire chief who handles all the day to day administrative duties of running the department and respond to calls. The rest of our membership consists of over 40 “volunteers” who dedicate their time for training and calls. Volunteers can respond to calls at any time of the day or night if they are available.

We respond to just about every type of emergency imaginable. Medical emergencies, structure fires, car fires, brush and trash fires, motor vehicle accidents, carbon monoxide incidents, and alarm activations are just some of the calls we receive. Obviously we respond to calls at all hours, every day of the year.

Our call volume has increased steadily over the past several years. See chart.

Yes! We are actively seeking new people to join the ranks of our current members. We are looking for people interested in becoming firefighters and/or emergency medical providers.

You will get back what you put into this position. As a department, we will invest in you by providing you with equipment, training, facilities, and welcome you into our “family”. As a member you will be expected to invest in yourself by completing the required training, taking your responsibilities seriously, and giving back to the community. If you put forth a solid effort and commit to being a dedicated member, the rewards and satisfaction are great. Frankly, if you put forth a minimal effort, your experience will not be as rewarding.

What type of person is that? Our members come from all walks of life. We have men and women, college students, young single people, husbands and wives, parents, (single parents too,) and even a few grandparents. We have professionals with graduate degrees, business owners, and “blue collar guys.” Our organization prides itself in its professionalism. The old stereotypes of a volunteer fire department just aren’t accurate anymore.

You must be at least 18 years of age, of good moral character, be a resident of the district, be physically capable of performing the duties of a firefighter and/or EMS provider. Our application process is described in more detail below.

For starters, anything you saw in the movies or on TV is pretty much wrong! If you are expecting instant glory, fame, fortune, or hero status, you may be disappointed. If you expect to pay your dues, train hard, and learn your craft, the satisfaction, experience, and respect of your peers will follow. Is it dangerous? It can be, but we go to great lengths to train to do things properly and safely rather than rushing inside in a cavalier manner. Is it exciting? Sometimes it is – sometimes not so much.

It’s a time to learn the basics about firefighting and the department, and there’s a lot to learn. You’ll get your hands dirty, and you’ll be doing some not-so-glamorous work like rolling hose. It’s a time to pay your dues and show the members of the department what you’re made of. But don’t worry, there’s nothing demeaning or humiliating about it, and you’ll already be making a very real contribution to the department.

We want to give you all the information you need to help you make your decision. If you still have unanswered questions, send an email to, or call the Fire Chief at 515-382-4593, or stop by the Fire Chief’s office at the City Hall/Public Safety Facility or the station when you see people there. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and show you around the firehouse. Chances are there’s a friend or neighbor of yours there. Give one of them a call and they’ll be happy to speak to you about the department as well.

If you have decided it’s worth a try, you can contact the department to for an application form. You can also apply on our website here. Please fill the application out completely and provide a photocopy of your driver’s license any support documents such as existing certifications or previous relevant experience. If, upon the review of your application, you are determined to be eligible, members of the department with contact you to schedule and interview. From there, the committee will make a recommendation to the Fire Chief regarding your eligibility to become a member. Then your application will be placed on an upcoming Nevada City Council Agenda for “official” approval.

We wish you luck and hope to hear from you soon….

The time commitment is definitely something to consider. It seems everyone is busier than ever nowadays, and the men and women of the Nevada Community Fire Department are no exception. We all have jobs, most of us have families, and some of us are attending school. But we’re all able to find a few hours each week to devote to the department. With more members, we can all shoulder the workload.


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