History and Information About the Fire Department

Over 100 hundred years of service to the community.

Who Are We? We are neighbors, friends and relatives. We live down the street from you or completely across town. Some of us work in town, others commute to Boston, Manchester and other towns and cities in between. Some of us own our businesses, while others work at conventional jobs. We work in the service industry, engineering, fire and rescue/emergency medical services, construction and just about anything else you could think of. We are drawn together to provide the town with a vital and important service. We are volunteer firefighters and EMTs.

What Do We Do? We answer emergency calls around the clock twenty four hours a day seven days a week, Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving and every holiday throughout the year. We deal with most emergencies that you could think of and some that you would never imagine. From fires and medical emergencies, to hazardous materials incidents. We are an all hazards response team. We train and train and train. We prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Sometimes we are the ones holding your hand when there is no one else to turn to, other times we are saving the life of a complete stranger. We never refuse to offer or provide our services, regardless of the situation.

WE HELP PEOPLE

Is This Something I Can Do? Absolutely. The biggest limitation is based on whether you live in town or not. Due to the nature of emergency response, we limit the members that can live out of town (and even they need to live relatively close to the Plaistow town line). If you are healthy and willing to put in long hours to train and obtain the skills necessary to meet the challenges of our industry, then anything is possible. Most that look to join have no previous experience or interaction with the fire service. We will provide the training. The classes are held at night and on weekends over a period of about 6 months. EMT classes would follow, again about 4 months or so, based on the schedule. We only ask that you commit yourself to this task. It is not a hobby or passing interest. The town will invest in your success if you are willing to work at it. We will pay for your training and provide you with the appropriate safety equipment. This is not an easy profession to master. Regardless of whether a person is a volunteer or career firefighter, the risks and challenges are the same. We train to minimize those risks and to meet each challenge. Our goal is everyone goes home after the call.

Do You Get Paid? Yes. The Plaistow Fire Department is a combination department. This means we have some fulltime and some on call staff. We have 3 fulltime members (Chief and two firefighter/EMTs M-F, 08:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.). The main component of the department is the volunteer (on call) staff. We have approximately 40 call members and they are paid by the hour for each alarm they answer. However, rewards can't be measured by dollars and cents. Every day gives us the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life. It might be a simple solution to a minor problem with a smoke detector or it might be as complex as reviving a victim of a cardiac arrest. In either case, the feeling you get after making even a minor impact in someone's life can't be put into words.

How do I get involved? We meet just about every Monday night from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Safety Complex (27 Elm Street).  You can stop by then or you can stop by Monday- Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. There is usually someone available that can answer your questions, give you an application and show you our apparatus and equipment. If you aren't sure, call us at 382-5012 to arrange a time to meet with us at your convenience.

How Old Do I Have to Be to Join? We require that you must be 18 years old to join the department. If you are younger, then we have an Explorer Program in Plaistow that can prepare you for a career in the emergency services. The Explorers meet on Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Call for additional information.

Do I Have to Become a Firefighter? What if I Have Other Skills That Can Benefit the Department? No, if you are only interested in the emergency medical aspect of our service, we would consider your application. The majority of our calls involve medical response. If you are not interested in EMS or Fire Suppression but you feel you have a unique skill that we could use, let us know. There is a program sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) known as Citizen Corps. These are civilian volunteers, called upon during emergencies to help with the response. In addition, the US Fire Administration, through FEMA, have a sister program called Fire Corps. These are volunteers, again with unique transferrable skills, that are willing to assist their local fire departments in whatever way they can. We encourage both Citizen Corps and Fire Corps volunteers to explore those opportunities with us.

Who Do I Call? If you know a member of the department, start there. If not, call (603) 382-5012 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday and ask to speak with either Chief John McArdle, or Captain Scott Vezina.