When comparing operating budgets between volunteer and career fire departments, you must first find a comparable department. You must compare geographical location, number of fire houses, apparatus and equipment, run volume etc. In our case, a comparable department to Dover is Annapolis, MD. Based on the proposed budget sent before their Mayor, the operating budget for FY2011 for the Annapolis Fire Department will be $14,092,500.00. By remaining a 100% volunteer organization, the men and women of the Dover Fire Department are saving the taxpayers of the City well over $12,500,000.00 annually! A substantial savings to our community, while still maintaining a high caliber, professional service on a daily basis.
Each member wears a full set of specially made fire fighting clothing. It’s referred to as “turnout gear”. A set of turnout gear consists of a helmet, jacket, bunker pants, boots, fire fighting gloves, general purpose gloves, eye protection and a nomex hood. The total price for this ensemble is just over $2,600.00 per firefighter. The turnout gear must be replaced every 10 years per manufacturer’s recommendations. The Dover Fire Department uses MSA breathing equipment. The system consists of an air cylinder, a harness system and a mask mounted regulator. We also use MSA face pieces (mask). The cost on one complete SCBA is around $4,500.00. This brings the total cost of equipment you see a fire fighter wearing to just over $7,000
The replacement cost of a pumper engine comparable to our current equipment is roughly $550,000.00. This doesn’t include anywhere from $100,000.00 to $150,000.00 for equipment to outfit the engine. The replacement cost of a platform aerial (bucket) ladder (truck) comparable to our current equipment is roughly $930,000.00. A tiller ladder (the one that steers in the rear also) is around $840,000.00. This again doesn’t include anywhere from $150,000.00 to $200,000.00 for equipment to outfit the truck.
The amount of training hours you’ll be involved in is based on your type of membership. There are different requirements for the different memberships. All firefighters will receive the “basic” classes within the first year or two. These classes are held right here in Dover at the State Fire School. These classes include basic fire fighting skills, structural fire fighting, vehicle rescue and Hazardous Material awareness training. The State Fire School offers a myriad of fire and EMS training opportunities. Contact our Personnel Director for further details.
You can join the fire department by selecting the “Application” tab located on the right side of the home page, or you can pick up an application downtown at the headquarters (HQ) building located at 103 S. Governors Ave. Once the application has been filled out in its entirety, drop it off at HQ. We’ll take over the process from there.