Whatcom County Fire District 8 Volunteer Firefighter Program

​​​​​​About Whatcom County Fire District 8

On the shores of Bellingham Bay with Mount Baker as its backdrop, Bellingham is the last major city before the Washington coastline meets the Canadian border. The City of Bellingham, which serves as the county seat of Whatcom County, is at the center of a uniquely picturesque area offering a rich variety of recreational, cultural, educational and economic activities.  With a population size of 7,743.

What Will I Do?

Whatcom County Fire District 8 is a combination department (including career staff by Bellingham Fire Department and approximately 35 volunteers) that covers the unincorporated areas northwest of Bellingham including the Bellingham International Airport and the Lummi Nation.  The department runs approximately 1500 calls per year and provides an excellent ongoing training program in partnership with the Bellingham Fire Department. 

During the shift the part-paid firefighter fills one of three positions that make up the engine/aid company.  This is a unique opportunity to be an integral part of this three person crew serving as a firefighter or driver. EMT skills are utilized as well for BLS ambulance transport.

These firefighter positions work between 4 and 10 shifts a month at one of our two fire stations.  Shifts run from 0800-2000 (day shift) and 2000-0800 (night shift) and scheduling of shifts is flexible.


Salary Information: Stipends range from $75 and $120 per shift depending on qualifications.

Benefit Information: Department covers costs of all uniforms and required safety gear.  Department also offers access to employee paid health care plan.

Stipends are paid per shift with current stipends running between $75 and $120 per shift depending on qualifications.  Because all volunteering is done on scheduled shifts, you do not have to be a resident of the area to apply. 

Overview, Experience, and Training

Firefighters provide emergency assistance and protective services to citizens. They are trained and equipped to protect life and property threatened by disaster, fire, explosion, hazardous materials, illness, accidents and other hazards. Activities include emergency prevention, emergency and non-emergency response, fire code enforcement, building inspections, training and drill and maintenance of apparatus, equipment, fire station and grounds. They perform a wide range of emergency work under adverse environmental and strenuous physical conditions. There is frequent potential for exposure to toxic chemicals, extreme heat, and infectious disease which require the use of protective equipment such as heat resistant clothing, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and medical masks, gloves and gowns. 

Firefighters may be required to drive fire apparatus or medical units and perform special firefighting, pre-hospital medical care, rescue work or other skills acquired by work experience and specialized training programs. 

Firefighters are subject to shift work and off-duty recall for major emergencies. 


Necessary Certifications:
Must have IFSAC FF1 & WA State EMT Basic & CPAT. CPAT Completion must be presented with application.  For entry-level volunteers, IFSAC FF1 & Washington State EMT Basic Certifications will be completed during the department led fire academy.

Testing Required to Apply:

For more information, to fill out an application, and to schedule FireTEAM & CPAT tests:

Go to National Testing Network, Select Firefighter Jobs, & sign up for Whatcom County Fire District 8 (available during recruitment period).

Schooling Prior and Post Hiring:

New Volunteer Firefighters will be required to complete specific requirements to become shift ready initially. This includes a fire academy that lasts up to 16 weeks, as well as, ongoing quarterly Fire and EMS training.

Experience & Training

  • Must have received a high school diploma or G. E. D.
  • Must pass a police criminal convictions records check with no felony convictions within last seven years.
  • Misdemeanor convictions will also be reviewed. A misdemeanor conviction will not necessarily disqualify an applicant but offenses within the last seven years may, by their nature and recentness, reveal a lack of specific qualifications for the position.

Necessary Special Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age.
  • Must be a U. S. citizen or a registered permanent resident able to work in the United States.
  • Ability to read, write, & speak English.
  • Must pass a pre-employment drug test.
  • Valid Washington State driver’s license and good driving record.
  • No record of driver’s license suspension or revocation in any state within the last three years.