Observer Program

Local citizens, interns or candidates interested in pursuing a fire service career can enjoy a closer look at the Brandon Fire Department and see how we serve our customers.

Your time with us should be an educational and enjoyable experience; however, we are emergency responders, and you may report to incidents that are extremely dangerous or disturbing. The Company Officer will advise you when a scene is safe enough for you to enter.

What You Need To Know

  • Under special circumstances, a ride-out participant may be allowed to stay in quarters for the entire 24-hour shift. Typically, this privilege is reserved for visiting members representing other fire departments or emergency service agencies.
  • Regular observation times are between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Observers may opt to eat with the assigned crew, but at their own expense.
  • Observers must provide or arrange for their own transportation to and from the designated ride-out station.
  • Must be 18 years of age (17 as a student with parental permission) and a resident of Brandon or in the process of either taking fire science or emergency medical classes, or express interest in the application process to become a Brandon fire fighter.
  • Observers must maintain proper grooming and attire that is neat and conservative. Pants or slacks with a matching solid-colored collared shirt, (i.e. golf shirt or blouse) and sturdy closed-toe shoes are required. Individuals who do not meet these requirements will not be permitted to ride-out or observe.
  • All observers must complete a Brandon Fire Department Waiver of Liability and Responsibility and provide the Company Officer with a copy of their photo identification prior to starting the ride-out or observation period.
  • Your Company Officer will brief you on all fire department scene safety instructions, including your seat assignment and the seat belt policy.
  • You must wear a designated observer vest.
  • As an observer, there may be incidents where it is not prudent to view a scene. For personal safety, or due to the sensitive/graphic nature of an incident, you may be asked to remain with the apparatus until the crew returns.
  • Observers will not be allowed to use cell phones or cameras during emergency calls unless they are credentialed reporters on a news assignment.
  • Emergency activities may delay your scheduled return to quarters.
  • Observers agree to be subject to the supervision and orders of their assigned Company Officer.

This is not a complete list of all observer program information, requirements or guidelines. All requests for observation ride-outs are approved in advance and at the discretion of the Brandon Fire Department. For more information about participating in the department’s ride-out/observer program, contact Carolyn Palmer at 601-824-4636 or by email at