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By Chief Ira Brown, Jr
January 28, 2021

January 28, 2021

The Eighth Ward VFD (8VFD) is proud to announce the launch of a Junior Firefighter (JRFF) Program to prepare the next generation of first responders to protect our community. The department will announce a meeting soon of interested parties. The 8VFD is located east of Ponchatoula and Hammond between the Tangipahoa River and the St. Tammany Parish line. We serve the communities of Robert, Bedico, and Lee’s Landing and surrounding areas.

JRFF programs give young people the chance to learn about local fire, rescue, and emergency medical services while serving in an internship-type atmosphere. JRFF members will train and serve with 8VFD firefighters and EMS members in a controlled educational, fun, and meaningful environment which could lead to the Junior gaining certification as an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and/or firefighter. The program will meet at least once a month.

The program is open to young adults ages 16 and 17 who reside in Tangipahoa Parish. Juniors will be offered training in Leadership, Teamwork, Civic Responsibilities, Fire/EMS Safety, Fire Behavior, Personal Protective Equipment, Ladders, Rescue, Emergency Medical Care, Ventilation, and numerous other subjects that could lead to national certification in many areas and possible future employment in emergency services. Even if members do not choose to go into the firefighting or EMS fields, the program will give them a glimpse into other similar careers, as well as give them lifelong skills that could come in handy when confronted with an emergency. Seeking employment or to volunteer in emergency services is not a requirement to join our Junior Program.

Once a Junior attains 18 years of age they may apply to our department as a Volunteer or Reserve Program member. Joining as a Volunteer or Reserve is a great way for the Junior to continue their education and training as a first responder.

The program will open on February 13, 2021. For more information, please go to our website at and select "Join Us" "Junior Firefighter". Please complete the Junior Firefighter Inquiry at the bottom of the page and the Lead Advisor, Firefighter Wayne Ratliff, will contact you. Parents/guardians may also join our JRFF organization and act as Advisors.

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Eighth Ward Volunteer Fire Department
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