Bethany’s Board of Aldermen gave their support to a Junior Volunteer Firefighter Program that is being created for teenagers between ages 16 and 18. The program was presented before the Bethany City Council on Monday night.
The idea behind the program is to give teenagers exposure to see what firefighters do and learn the basics of firefighting before taking the Missouri Division of Highway Safety Courses. The Junior Firefighters would attend regular training events and meetings. They would also be expected to take commands from the Bethany Fire Department Officers. The Junior Firefighters would have to live within a 5-mile radius of the City of Bethany and will receive classroom training in classes with the topics of CPR, communications, fire prevention and life safety, and general fire, rescue, and EMS education.
The Junior Firefighters would have to attend 50% of all meetings with the exception of family or school activities. They could not hold an office in the department and would not have voting rights until they become a full-time fireman. The Junior Firefighters would not be allowed to leave school to attend a fire event.
The program is being implemented as an educational program and potentially a recruiting tool for full-time firemen for the Bethany Fire Department.
The Bethany city council approved the program on a 3-1 vote. Terry Osmon voted against the measure and was uncomfortable with the city’s exposure to liability.