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Cadet Program

Mattawan Fire Department Cadet Program


Cadet Site Navigation

Purpose and History

The Mattawan Fire Department Cadet Program was established in 2002 to develop a program in which community youth could learn about the fire service.  The Mattawan Fire Department has several former cadets join the department as regular firefighters, with some going away to college to obtain a degree in Fire Science, and some joined the armed services.  Upon learning a minimum number of skills, cadets will be able to respond to emergency calls with teh firefighters and act as support personnel.  When the cadet turns 18 years old and graduates high school, the cadet will have the option to submit an application to become a volunteer firefighter with the Mattawan Fire Department.

Being a firefighter can be a dangerous job.  Strict laws exist to protect cadets from most hazardous conditions.  For example. cadets will never enter a burning building. Mattawan Fire Department takes safety very seriously and will not tolerate horseplay during training or actual emergency calls.  It must also be recognized that during emergency conditions, a cadet might be asked to complete a task prohibited by the cadet rules.  In this case, the cadet must take the responsibility to alert the asking member that the action is prohibited and to find someone else to complete the task.  The cadet should then alert the command officer and the situation will be dealt with.  The cadet should never complete the task.


Cadet firefighters need to be self-starters and willing to learn.  Cadets who regularly strive to learn more and be involved will be rewarded with increasing levels of responsibilities and opportunities.  cadets who do not contribute to the department will be removed to allow other prospective cadets an opportunity to join the program.

The Fire Department is proud of its members; cadet members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner when representing the fire department.  Cadets are prohibited from discussing internal Fire Department activities, finances, fire call details, perceptions and opinions of other fire departments.  Any concerns in these areas are to be discussed with appropriate Mattawan Fire Department Officer.


  • Cadets must be at least 15 years of age, but not to exceed the age of 17 by the end of the school year.
  • The Cadet must reside within the Mattawan Fire Department response area.
  • H/She should be able to follow directions under stressful situations.
  • He/She should be in good physical condition to perform essential fire ground tasks.
  • Cadets should be willing and able to attend at least 50% of scheduled meetings and training.
  • Cadets must maintain a 2.0 grade-point average in school to join the program and must obtain a 2.5 GPA to advance within the program.
Mission and Values

The Mattawan Fire Department and its Cadet Firefighter Program work in cooperation to educate, protect, and serve the youth in our response area.

Cadet Mission Statement

To maintain a safe environment for youth to gather within the community to learn about many aspects of the fire service and to provide avenues for positive social interaction for the youth in the cadet program.

Core Values

Recognizing the dedication and skill and value of all members, we will create and maintain an environment of individual safety, well-being and trust.  We are guided by: Service to Others, Team Work, Compassion, Integrity, Safety, Honesty, Accountability, Professionalism, and Respect.

Commitment to the Community

The Members of the Mattawan Fire Department's Cadet Program demonstrate commitment to our community through:

  • Providing an opportunity for youth to serve the community.
  • Respectful and courteous treatment of all people.
  • Accountability for our actions.
  • Open and honest communication.
  • Educating peers about fire safety and prevention.
  • Providing a safe environment for youth activity within the community.
Cadet Levels


during the probation period, the cadet will have no voting privileges and may not respond to any calls.  Probationary cadets can attend special events of the department after approval of the advisory board.  Probationary cadets can attend regular fire department meetings, but may not attend training.

Requirements needing to be completed to get off probation status:

  • Complete at least 3 months of service.
  • Attend 100% of all cadet meetings.  (Excused absences will be approved.)
  • Have a good understanding of the Mattawan Fire Department operations and rules.
  • Complete the Cadet Orientation Program.
  • Be recommended by the Cadet Advisory Board and approved by the Cadet Advisory Chairman or chief.
  • Must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA.

Failure to complete the probationary status will result in a one-time extension of probation.  After the extension of 3 months, expulsion of non-performance will occur.

Level 1


  • Complete all probation requirements.
  • Complete at least 6 months of service.
  • Successfully complete selected classes from the Firefighter I Program.
  • Must maintain a 2.5 GPA.
  • Be recommended by the Cadet Advisory Board and approved by the Cadet Advisory Chairman.

Upon earning Level 1, the cadet will receive a Mattawan Fire Department Cadet T-shirt and a Level 1 helmet sticker.  They will be allowed to attend regular business meetings of the Mattawan Fire Department.  Cadets will be allowed to ride on fire apparatus on non-emergency events.  Cadets will not be allowed to respond for any emergency calls at any time.

Level II


  • Complete all Level I requirements.
  • Complete basic first aid class given by the Mattawan Quick Response Team or the Mattawan Fire Department.
  • Complete Firefighter I in-house classes.

Cadet Level II will be able to ride on fire apparatus, responding to non-emergency, to calls with the approval of the Mattawan Fire Department Command Officers.  With the completion of Level II or if the cadet has reached the age of 18; he/she will be recommended by the Cadet Advisory Bard (with approval of the Cadet Advisory Chairman) for the review by command officers for membership oif the cadet so desires.  Upon earning Level II status, the cadet will receive a Mattawan Fire Department Cadet shirt.


Cadets will be able to graduate from the cadet program with a minimum of 1 year of service or to date in which the cadet reaches the age of 18.  Graduates will then be encouraged to apply for volunteer firefighter status within the Mattawan Fire Department if all requirements are met.