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Are you not just looking for a hobby, but a job? Something that not only enlivens your free time, but also helps those around you? Over 130,000 people in North Rhine-Westphalia do voluntary work in the volunteer fire brigade. Your commitment is important.
Fire service is more than putting out fires. Fire brigade is commitment, community, helpfulness, social responsibility. On our website you can find information about the voluntary work of the volunteer fire brigades in North Rhine-Westphalia. Here you can find out how your voluntary work will help you personally and how you can win friends through your commitment who will be with you for a lifetime. Everyone is welcome!


To me. For all. The members of the volunteer fire brigade do their voluntary work in their free time. And still have a lot of responsible tasks. Much of what they do in their social commitment goes beyond simply extinguishing a fire. Members of the volunteer fire brigade also help and secure in the event of accidents and natural disasters and are on hand for the citizens of North Rhine-Westphalia in an emergency. Rescue, rescue, extinguishing, protecting - together for all people in North Rhine-Westphalia! And if a cat is stuck in the tree, we are of course also on duty. Always there where help is needed.

Team spirit, camaraderie, motivation and the will to social commitment - that is what defines the volunteer fire brigade. In order for our helpers to be ready for action, a sound fire service training, health suitability and physical fitness are necessary. We welcome everyone who wants to do voluntary work. Even those who are not so fit. We have tasks for everyone.

Gender or origin are irrelevant for volunteer work in the volunteer fire brigade. It doesn't matter whether you already know where your strengths are or you want to find out with us first. With us everyone will find a task to advance themselves and to make a contribution to society with their commitment.

Do you want to work with us for the security and community in your community? Exciting assignments and tasks await with us, which provide a balance to everyday stress, impart new skills to you and through which you will grow.

Talk to your local volunteer fire brigade now. You can easily find all contact details in our map tool.

Are you ready for your first assignment with the volunteer fire brigade? Then come over and get on the Firetruck!

In 2017 the truck was on the road at 14 events in North Rhine-Westphalia. Everyone who is curious about the work and training of the volunteer fire brigade had the opportunity to get to know the truck, the local volunteer fire brigade and of course many of the comrades

Have your picture taken with the truck and show your friends what you would look like as a future member. Find out more about life and work at the volunteer fire brigade and learn exciting stories from the members of the volunteer fire brigade.

The next dates of the Firetruck will follow shortly:

Expect the unexpected - Facebook Live Event with the Rösrath Volunteer Fire Brigade!

Action with the Rösrath Volunteer Fire Brigade! With emergency vehicles, rescuing people and spontaneous "operations management", we show what it feels like to be a "volunteer fire brigade".

What exactly is going on in the control center as soon as an emergency call comes in? What is the Day of Warning about? And what about the different sirens? We explain that to you in our Live Event on Warning Day. We were guests of the volunteer fire brigade in Kamen and answered your questions:

Martina and Gesine google! And answer frequently asked questions about the volunteer fire brigade.

Doing something for yourself: volunteer fire services

Everyone has their strengths - have you found yours yet? Can you keep a cool head under pressure? Do you know what to do in an emergency? You will learn all of this with us in the fire brigade. Show yourself and those around you what you are made of.

Do something for everyone: turn a hobby into a purpose!

The volunteer fire brigade is not popular with citizens for nothing. We are there when help is needed and through our voluntary work we strengthen the security and community on site

Meet new people from your region as volunteers.

We train together in the volunteer fire brigade. We'll go into action together. We learn with and from each other. And we also like to spend our free time together. Community is a top priority in volunteering. This is where you meet new friends - maybe for life.

Training and further education: learn and grow with us.

Everyone who wants to go into action has to go through the basic training with us. The course comprises around 150 hours of lessons and takes place in the evenings or on weekends. These basics will be deepened again later. Among other things, you will learn the basics of fire fighting, technical assistance and civil and disaster protection, and you will learn how to properly provide first aid, how to deal with vehicles and equipment and how to correctly assess dangerous situations and work together effectively in a group.

Off to action: do you know your limit?

Once the basic training has been completed, the volunteer fire brigade offers many opportunities for further training and to learn real specialist knowledge and skills. Have you always wanted to be behind the wheel of a fire engine? Know how to control a reconnaissance drone or secure a danger zone? At the volunteer fire brigade you will immerse yourself in many different areas: technology, processes, psychology equipment and first - so that you can keep a cool head even in tricky situations. And be able to make optimal use of your strengths in everyday life.
Are you someone who likes to take responsibility? Maybe you even have a future leader in you. We all started the same and had the same opportunities for advancement.

Social commitment: Find your balance. And real friends.

The volunteer fire brigade makes you fit - physically and mentally. Use voluntary work to help yourself and those around you. However, sportiness is not a mandatory requirement - with us you can get involved in many areas. For example, in the organization on duty. Or do you know your way around social networks and would like to get involved in public communication? For many of our members, their work in the volunteer fire brigade is the perfect balance to their everyday work. In voluntary work, we stick together and are there for one another - even when there is no outreach.


Employers and companies can also support volunteering.

Not only individuals can make a valuable contribution to security and community in their region and actively promote social engagement. Business can also support the long-term security of the volunteer fire brigades. For example, employers who release their employees for fire service assignments and who benefit from the special skills of the fire service members in their workforce. Or companies that contribute to the bigger picture by supporting the volunteer fire brigade (e.g. by donating to fire brigade development associations). For themselves. For all.

In our FAQs, we answer all other questions about involvement in the volunteer fire brigade.

How is the volunteer fire brigade structured in NRW?

There are 396 volunteer fire brigades in North Rhine-Westphalia, which means that every municipality has a volunteer fire brigade - regardless of whether there is also a professional fire brigade. In many communities, the volunteer fire brigades often have more than just a fire station. There are more than 2,700 locations all over North Rhine-Westphalia. With the children's, youth and volunteer fire brigade, over 130,000 members are volunteering in the volunteer fire brigade in NRW and look forward to further active support.

What is the difference between a professional fire brigade and a volunteer fire brigade?

Basically, one can differentiate between professional, volunteer and works or company fire brigades. Of the good 1.3 million German fire fighters, more than one million work on a voluntary basis in the volunteer fire department. 106 professional fire brigades face more than 24,000 volunteer fire brigades. The individual state laws regulate when cities and municipalities have to set up a professional fire brigade. In simple terms, one can say that urban districts in North Rhine-Westphalia must have a professional fire brigade. Large cities belonging to the district, i.e. those with more than 60,000 inhabitants, can set up a professional fire brigade in addition to a volunteer fire brigade. In NRW there are around 86,000 volunteer firefighters on active duty and around 9,500 people in the professional fire brigade.

Do I have to pay for the equipment myself?

The necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided by the respective municipality. It consists of a combat suit, safety boots, gloves and the fire helmet.

Do you get money for working for the volunteer fire brigade?

The work in the volunteer fire brigade is an honorary position and is not remunerated. However, the employers of firefighters who have taken part in an operation receive reimbursement from the municipality for the wages or salaries that were paid during the operation. The self-employed receive reimbursement of their loss of earnings for missions.

Is there a membership fee?

No, there is no membership fee.

What does the youth fire brigade do?

Technology, sport and fun: at the youth fire brigade you can experience and learn a lot from exciting fire brigade content to leisure activities and excursions. Anyone who wants to know what a youth flame is, wants to learn more about the topic of “new media” or natural sciences or simply wants to meet new friends can contact the local youth fire brigade. More information is available at: http://www.jf-nrw.de

What does the children's fire brigade do?

There are currently around 28 children's fire brigades in North Rhine-Westphalia. Children's fire brigades offer girls and boys the opportunity to deal with the subject of "fire protection" in a playful way and of course have lots of fun on the subject of fire brigades. More at: https://www.vdf-nrw.de/wir/kinderfeuerwehr/

What is the difference between an active, passive and a sustaining member?

Active members work in various roles for the volunteer fire department. In addition to the children's and youth fire brigade, there are activities primarily in the operations department, in the support department or in the fire department music department. There are actually no passive members in this sense. There is, however, the possibility of the head of the fire brigade being given a temporary leave of absence. Membership is then suspended for this period. Anyone who would like to support the volunteer fire brigade financially can become a member of their fire brigade's support association. The important thing is: Changed living conditions, work or family do not always make it possible to be available around the clock. That is why we offer flexible models or are currently testing them so that as many citizens as possible can make their contribution.

Who can become a firefighter?

In principle, anyone can become a member of us. In particular, certain physical conditions are required for deployment, but the volunteer fire brigade offers exciting tasks and challenges for all ages and all talents - in an emergency and also in everyday operations on the guard and in the fire stations. We invite everyone to contact the local volunteer fire brigades and find out more.

What activities does the volunteer fire brigade do?

In addition to the "classic" activities in the operations department, such as fire fighting and technical assistance, the volunteer fire brigade also has other activities, e.g. in the support department. In the support department, tasks such as looking after the child and youth fire brigade, public relations, supply and administrative support are carried out. There is also the opportunity to participate in the fire department music department. We try to find a suitable job for everyone who wants to get involved.

Can people with disabilities also become members?

There are of course certain physical requirements for service in the operations department, but we are also happy about every member who contacts us for another interesting task: be it in communication (e.g. maintaining our social media profiles and websites), Catering or organization to relieve our emergency services.

How much time does the activity take?

As a member, in addition to the missions, which vary depending on the location and locality, there are exercises, further education or training. On average, this makes up 2–4 appointments per month. However, the training requires a certain amount of time that each member must go through. But it's worth it!

How much training is required for a job in the emergency service?

The basic course is the first course that everyone must complete in order to be able to become a firefighter on duty. In this course, the basics of fire service are taught. The course comprises around 150 teaching hours at the location level and takes place in the evening or on the weekend. The second part of the "basic course" is carried out in the local armed forces within two years of the start of the basic course, each lasting 40 hours. He deepens the topics of the basic course.

How dangerous is the activity?

Of course, what we do is not safe. But there are much more dangerous activities and hobbies. There are good and adequate safety regulations for this, and firefighters in particular are more sensitive to dangers than many others.

Which volunteer fire brigade can I be a member of?

In order to be on site as quickly as possible, the main area of ​​operation is of course to be seen within the community of residence. In exceptional cases, membership can alternatively exist in the municipality directly adjacent to the municipality of residence, e.g. if this makes sense from a tactical point of view. Membership in the volunteer fire brigade at the place of employment is also possible if the head of the respective volunteer fire brigade agrees.

Do you have to be German to become a member?

No, diversity is wanted and wanted! Corresponding German language skills are of course required, otherwise the same requirements, opportunities and possibilities apply.

How does a typical mission work?

After the emergency call has been received at the control center, the dispatcher there decides on the required emergency services: ambulance, emergency doctor or even - the fire brigade. Now it's time to move out. All incoming firefighters equip themselves with their personal protective equipment in the fire station before they go to the scene of the incident. The distribution of tasks is discussed on the vehicles. The arriving vehicles report "arrival at the scene" to the control center. The head of operations has to "explore the situation" on site, ie it is checked whether the situation reported in the emergency call is represented as it is, whether people and animals are in danger and assesses whether the operation with the existing one Personnel and device can be managed. Once the fire has been extinguished or another hazard has been eliminated, the necessary equipment is dismantled and stowed in the vehicles. Only then does it go "home" to the fire station - and for some firefighters back to work.

How do I know if I am suitable for a job in the fire service?

There are physical requirements for active duty. Those who cannot read warning signs due to color blindness, for example, or who cannot ensure constant performance due to other health impairments, are unfortunately not suitable for use. But that is precisely why we want to explicitly point out once again that there are not just activities "at the front", but numerous others that are suitable for everyone. You should bring enthusiasm, flexibility, openness and a desire for new things.

Am I insured as a member?