How to become a Cambridge Volunteer Firefighter

Complete an application

You may obtain an application in the following ways:

  • Download from our website
  • Pick on up from the fire station on a Monday night after 6:30 pm, or by appointment
  • Request one from a current Cambridge firefighter

Once filled out, please return the application using one of the following ways:

  • Return it to the fire station on a Monday night after 6:30pm or by appointment (preferred)
  • Scan and email it to the CFD email address (below)
  • Give it to a current Cambridge firefighter

What happens next?

  • A background check will be performed.
  • A casual meet and greet interview with the Fire Chief, President of the Department, and Board of Directors will be scheduled.
  • You will be presented to the membership, and a vote conducted as to your membership approval.
  • Once voted on, you will be contacted and advised to show up on Monday nights for trainings and meetings.
  • Your orientation program will begin.  You will be assigned an orientation contact, or mentor, who will be the main person to guide you through the orientation process and also who you will go to with questions.
  • You will be given an orientation binder with information about the department, station, apparatus, and equipment.  The binder will be completed over your 12 month probationary period.  
  • You will be issued bunker gear and tools, as well as uniforms.
  • If you are new to the fire service, you will be enrolled in an upcoming entry level firefighting course through Madison College.

Member requirements and expectations

  • Respond to fire calls whenever you are available.  The minimum is 20% of calls (average of 160-200 calls a year = 32-40 calls), but members are highly encouraged to respond any time you are available.
  • ​Participate in trainings and meetings as much as possible.  
  • Be eager to learn from others.
  • Follow direction of officers or senior firefighters.
  • ​Do not share incident details with members of the public.

Why become a firefighter?

  • ​Help out your community in a very unique and meaningful way.  We respond to assist our fellow community members in their greatest time of need.  There are few things that are as fulfilling as helping someone when they crash their car, their home was on fire, helping during a medical emergency, or numerous other types of incidents.  Firefighters TRULY make a difference!
  • Learn new, useful skills and use tools and equipment that few have the opportunity to operate.  
  • Meet new people that also reside in our community.  Our members come from all walks of life and each one of us contributes a piece of that to what is the Cambridge Fire Department.
  • We are very involved with our community, from our annual events, participation in parades, Touch-A-Truck, and Fire Prevention Week!
  • Volunteer firefighter looks great on a resume to prospective employers!
  • Take on the challenge that is something new!
  • Firefighters get $10 per call.
  • Firefighting gear provided by the department
  • All training at no cost t you!
  • Become a part of the second family that is the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department!

A little about the CFD

We are a 100% volunteer fire department, which means that our firefighters respond from home, work, or where ever they may be when an incident occurs.  Members are issued pagers which alert them to when they need to respond.  We currently average 3o active members of the department, which are overseen by a fire chief.  Our department has a long, rich history of community service ever since the department was founded in 1902.





If you have questions about being a member, feel free to contact us using our contact information here:

Cambridge Fire Department

271 W. Main Street

​P.O. Box 79

Cambridge, WI  53523

Phone: 608-423-2014

Cambridge Volunteer Firefighters NEEDED!!

Be sure to print out two applications.  One for yourself and one for someone else!

Applicant Requirements

  • Be 18 years of age
  • Live or work within the Cambridge Fire District
  • ​Pass a background check

​​​​Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department

Firefighter shortage

Nationwide, there is a general decline in volunteer firefighters.  Unfortunately, the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department is not immune to this trend.  For several years, retirement of firefighters in Cambridge has outpaced new recruits.  There are a number of factors which contribute to this:

  • In the past, employers would be more inclined to let employees who are firefighters leave when there was a call.  While some employers still allow this, it is seen much less often.  This greatly impacts bedroom communities that have most of their population working outside of town, leaving few people to respond to incidents during the day.
  • People with multiple jobs, dual income families, or people with children (or a combination of these) are less likely to volunteer because of the time they miss away from home or do not have someone to watch the kids in the event of a call. 
  • Generational differences - studies have shown that volunteering can be less appealing to younger people.
  • Health risks of being a firefighter.