Volunteer Fire Section
The Augusta Department of Public Safety (ADPS) is privileged to have the support of over 30 volunteer firefighters and a handful of explorer, or junior, firefighters. The volunteers supplement the paid staff and respond to fire related emergencies at all times of the day and night. The volunteers respond, without hesitation, and receive no pay or compensation for their dedication.
The volunteers have been a part of Augusta's firefighting resources since before the police and fire departments were combined into a Public Safety Department in 1960. The members of the volunteers train regularly with paid staff to keep their skills sharp. At any emergency scene, it would be hard to distinguish who was a paid member and who was a member of the volunteers. The two groups work together side by side and the differences in paid versus volunteer rarely become evident. Some of our volunteers are very experienced firefighters with past volunteers having worked in such capacities as a training division Captain with the Wichita Fire Department, and a Division Chief from the Sedgwick County Fire Department. The paid staff recognizes this experience and allows these volunteers to shine in the capacities that best fit them.
The volunteers are an invaluable part of the community and the department. They, and their families, allow the City of Augusta and Butler County Fire District Two to maintain the highest level of protection without wavering due to costs.
The explorer or junior fire section of the department is comprised of a handful of dedicated and energetic youth from our community. The "juniors," as they are called, assist with various aspects of keeping the fire division running smoothly. These youth are between the ages of 14 and 18 years of age and live within the fire district served by the Augusta Department of Public Safety (ADPS).
The juniors are part of a Boy Scouts of America program designed for exposing youth to real life work environments. The juniors attend fire training with regular members of the department and assist around the station with maintenance, apparatus upkeep, and other tasks. In addition, they are allowed to respond to fire scenes with the regular firefighters and Public Safety Officers and help with shuttling equipment and keeping the scene moving. While the group is not allowed to enter burning buildings or put in other positions of great danger, they do assist with smaller fires such as brush piles and trash fires to gain experience.
Many of the full-time commissioned Public Safety Officers and staff started their careers on the junior fire section and waded through the various ranks. These include Major Ray Marbut, the commander of the Fire Division; Lieutenant Tim Follis, the Lieutenant assigned to the Fire Division; Sergeant Chad McCluskey, patrol Sergeant and K9 handler; Former High School Resource Officer Andy Hall; Dispatcher Lance Hilton; Dispatcher Matt Lawson, and several volunteer firefighters.
To inquire about becoming a junior firefighter, contact Public Safety Officer Derek Highbarger at (316) 775-4500.