Fire Department

Volunteer Opportunities

Below are various volunteer opportunities available with the Emergency Preparedness Division of the City of Independence Missouri Fire Department. Click to learn more about each one, or you can submit the application directly. Submit application here

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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

The CERT program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area. Knowledge and training covers:

  • Personal preparedness,

  • Fire safety and utility controls;

  • Light search and rescue,

  • Terrorism awareness,

  • Team organization, and

  • Disaster medical operations.

CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.

  • CERT is considered Basic Training for all Emergency Preparedness volunteers.
  • Every volunteer is expected to complete the training within 24 months of joining the Emergency Preparedness volunteer program..
  • The CERT Training course is typically offered twice a year.
  • Training is adapted to the limitations of each individual, allowing anyone to complete the course successfully.
  • Members of the public are encouraged to take CERT Basic Training, even if they do not plan to become volunteers.



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About Command Staff

Members of this group are responsible for working closely with EP paid staff to monitor threats to the city (especially weather-related threats), staff the Emergency Operations Center, develop emergency plans, and oversee response activities. They provide alerts to the city, support first responders, and activate volunteers for emergency response.

Command Staff members receive some of the highest levels of training to prepare them for assuming major responsibilities for the safety of the city, including becoming Missouri Certified Emergency Managers.


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Disaster Animal Response Team

These volunteers provide temporary sheltering for animals, often near the human shelters where their owners are located. Specially trained members may also assist in animal rescue and recovery when requested by Animal Control or in cooperation with the Search and Rescue Unit.


This unit is part of our Operations Section.


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Communications Unit (incl. Ham Radio)

Volunteers in this unit coordinate communications for the EP division, including providing alternative communications capabilities to city departments and EP personnel when normal capabilities are unavailable or ineffective.

  • This often includes amateur radio services for field operations.

    • o Ham radio is often used for local operations.

    • o While it is not required, we encourage all volunteers to become licensed amateur radio operators.

  • The Emergency Operations Center is equipped with radios capable of long-distance operation to allow communication around the world.


This unit is part of our Logistics Section.


Fire Explorers Post 2081

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Through the Boy Scouts of America, both males and females, ages 14-21, may join the Independence Fire Explorer Post to learn everything there is to know about firefighting. Members train, practice, and demonstrate the use of firefighting equipment at public events.


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About Storm Spotters

These volunteers are trained in remote and/or mobile weather observation and analysis with the distinct purpose of reporting “ground truth” to staff at the Emergency Operations Center. Typically, mobile storm spotters are licensed ham radio operators, but we have additional methods for providing reports. Storm spotter reports of severe weather are often shared by EOC staff with the National Weather Service to enhance their understanding of the seriousness of local weather events.


This function is part of the Situational Awareness unit in our Planning Section.