West Licking Joint Fire District (WLJFD) consists of three separate shifts. They are categorized as 1, 2, and 3 Unit. Each shift is staffed with one Battalion Chief, four Lieutenants, 14 Full-Time Firefighter/Paramedics and four Part-Time Firefighters. Each shift begins at 7 a.m. every morning, and ends at 7 a.m. the next day. A shift works 24 hours on duty, and then they are off duty for 48 hours.
At 7 a.m. the oncoming and off-going shifts hold roll call to exchange WLJFD news and events. After roll call, the on-duty shift starts the day off by checking the emergency vehicles. In these daily truck checks, the crews perform a thorough safety inspection of the vehicles’ fluids, brakes, and emergency lights and sirens. They also inspect and operate all of the equipment and tools carried on the vehicles to ensure proper function, and maintain proficiency. Any necessary repairs/cleaning of the vehicles and equipment are performed at this time. Next, they clean the living areas of the station. These activities usually take up a majority of the firefighters’ morning.
The firefighters are cross trained as paramedics. A paramedic goes through an initial training well in excess of 1,000 hours. To maintain proficiency, each paramedic participates in nearly 100 hours of annual continuing education.
Throughout the day the firefighters train on possible scenarios that they could be called upon. The trainings allow the WLJFD firefighters to operate efficiently as a team and to learn new techniques. The trainings cover all aspects of fire, rescue, and emergency medical operations.
The West Licking Joint Fire District, with the help of the Firefighters’ Union, has equipped each station with an exercise room containing state-of-the-art physical fitness equipment. The firefighters are encouraged to participate in daily physical fitness activities.
After 4 p.m., the firefighters have what they call down time. This down time remains until 7 a.m. the next morning. During this down time the firefighters can relax, watch television, etc. but first and foremost throughout their 24-hour shift, they must remain ready to respond to any emergency.