Volunteers Needed! Join Today

Download an application and return it to the fire station today.

The OVFD is currently accepting applications for our next recruit class.

Some commonly asked questions about joining

Who can join?

  • Men and women age 19 and up.
  • People who are interested in volunteering their time to help their community.
  • People who are interested in firefighting or emergency medicine
  • People with good moral character
  • People in reasonable physical condition (we have opportunities for everyone, you don't have to be a marathon runner or power lifter to join)
  • No special training or equipment needed (we provide all the training you need)

Why should I join?

Volunteer fire departments are there to provide the members of our community a hand during some of the worst moments of their lives.

  • The burning building is not just a house, but a home filled with memories. It is volunteer firefighters who are there to save photo albums and the wall where the kids used to measure how tall they were.
  • The patient trapped in their car after an accident on the interstate has just lived through an intense situation and is probably terrified. It is local volunteer firefighters and EMTs who will be there not only to use the Jaws of Life to get the patient out, but will also hold their hand and and be a source of strength.
  • It is scary to see a loved one fall or become unconscious. Skilled volunteer firefighters and EMTs will be there not only to care for your grandmother, father, sister, or son in their time of need but will also offer a shoulder and be a source of comfort throughout the situation.

Unfortunately, the number of volunteer firefighters is declining in America. Too often, these horrible situations are prolonged because not enough people are willing to lend a hand. In 2008, USAToday ran a story about the lack of volunteers in rural America. In their story, they highlighted area fire departments including the Ogallala Volunteer Fire Department.

"In some communities out there, it's the volunteer fire department or nothing," said U.S. Fire Administrator Gregory Cade. "There's not the economic base to support a career department. So if they can't keep the volunteer fire department viable, then the potential exists that they're not going to have any protection at all."

The better question is: "Why haven't you joined already?" The men and women of the Ogallala Volunteer Fire Department are a hard-working, fun-loving group. Joining a fire department is to joining a family who will be there for you in the best and worst of times. The other members, and firefighters worldwide, become your brothers and sisters. Best of all you get to help out your community and know that you did something to make the life of another person a little bit better.

What kind of training is provided?

Starting with the Recruit Class of 2011, all new members will be given Nebraska Fire Fighter I including Hazardous Materials Operations. These courses require lots of training, but provide you with the essentials to be safe and effective on emergency scenes. Additionally, volunteers can enroll in the EMT-Basic course offered through Mid-Plains Community College. Training is provided free-of-charge if successfully completed. EMT-Paramedic training is also available for those who wish to continue to this level.

The OVFD also has monthly trainings in both fire and EMS. These training meetings are designed to provide a chance to work with other department members and practice basic and advanced tactics for emergency scenes.

I'm not really interested in both fire and EMS. Can I choose just one?

We often hear this from new members and we understand that not everyone is interested both sides of our business. However, we also know that many of these same people quickly change their minds once they jump on the back of an ambulance or run a fire hose. Because of this, all new members are required to participate in both Fire and EMS during their probationary period. After your probationary period you are allowed to choose which area(s) you are most interested in.

I'm a busy person, how much time does it take?

We understand that you are a busy person, we all are. Our members include businessmen, nurses, construction workers, educators, and utility workers. We have families and commitments to other organizations outside the fire department. Trust us, you can find the time to help out.

The time requirements are minimal: Attend meetings and/or trainings on most Thursday nights and make as many calls as you are able. We average a little over one (1) call a day, and often we will go several days without a call. As a volunteer department we understand if you miss a call because you are stuck in a meeting or if you are home with the children. Maybe you can make the next one.

Download an application and return it to the fire station.


Chief Dell Simmerman

409 East 2nd Street
Ogallala, Nebraska 69153
Phone: 308.284.4553
After Hours: 308.284.2024
Fax: 308.284.3718

© 2017 Ogallala Volunteer Fire Department