Requirements & FAQs
Do You Have the Passion & Desire to Volunteer?
We’ve listed some common questions below
Be sure to browse our benefits, opportunities, and why you should volunteer sections for detailed information on becoming a volunteer Firefighter/EMT, EMT, Paramedic, Administrative, Support or Auxiliary team member in Maryland.
Can’t find the answer(s) you are looking for? Please contact us here
Do you have what it takes to put others before yourself? Integrity, honesty, courage, selflessness, being a team player, compassion, commitment and competence. The competence will come from training to ensure a job is done safely and effectively. Other requirements vary by county so please ask a representative from your department for more details.
What you’ll do is important, as others are depending on you to come through. Actual responsibilities vary by location, but every volunteer that responds to calls must complete training and selflessly protect their community at all times. Again, not all volunteers respond to calls, but everyone makes a difference. Let’s talk about how you can help.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who can be a volunteer firefighter or EMT?
If you have the desire to serve, you can be a volunteer firefighter or EMT. You don’t need any prior experience in the emergency services; you will receive the training you need when you join the department. There are specific requirements, such as a minimum age and background check. If you want to help your community in ways few can, contact us to find out how to join.
Do I Need Prior Training or Experience?
Absolutely not. All training required to become a volunteer Firefighter, Firefighter/EMT or EMT is provided FREE of charge through various county and state programs. There are dozens of courses including hazardous materials, specialized rescue and beyond. Contact Us for more information.
How Much Time Will I need to Spend as Volunteer?
Becoming a volunteer is a serious commitment — but we ensure it’s as flexible as possible to fit in with and work around your day to day life.
For those looking to be Firefighters and EMTs, this includes training that is conveniently scheduled on nights and weekends at locations throughout your region of the state, flexible duty shift schedules and more. A new recruit without any training can expect to spend 100-200 hours their first year going through the process, initial training, events and more. Check with your recruiter for specifics to your chosen department.
Administrative, Auxiliary and Support volunteer opportunities may be best if you are looking to volunteer but not ride fire trucks and ambulances — which also eliminates the required emergency operations training courses. Schedules for these opportunities are typically even more flexible than those for volunteers in an operational fire, rescue, and EMS roles.
How Long Does the Process Take
Every department in the state has different requirements and timelines for onboarding new members. On average, it takes 1-3 months to complete the application and review process.
This may include any number of activities, including time at the firehouse, completing a criminal background check, passing a physical, initial training, interviews and more.
Please contact us to speak with a recruitment representative about the specific process and timeline.
Do I Get Paid?
The short answer is NO, you do not get paid money to volunteer.
However, there are MANY benefits to being a volunteer which you can learn about here. This includes a generous tax deduction for Maryland residents after several years of service, a Length of Service Award program which includes monthly or regularly scheduled financial benefits after a specific duration of service, free training including professional development (which may also help you secure outside employment in the Fire/EMS service), tuition incentives, events and much more.
We’re looking for individuals interested in volunteering their time to serve their community and make an impact for themselves, too!
What will I do as a volunteer in my local fire department?
The Fire department ensures volunteer personnel receives all required training at no cost to the individual. Depending on the training and certifications you receive you may be asked to do some of the following.
Emergency Medical Services
Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) Response
Search and Rescue
Traffic Incident Management (TIM) and Highway Safety
Public Information and Education
Are there ways I can help my local department without becoming a first responder?
Yes, we often utilize community volunteers to assist with the non-emergency tasks of the department. This frees up the firefighters and EMS personnel to focus on training and response activities, while enabling community members to provide needed support to help the department run. Activities may include fundraising, administrative support, book-keeping, translation services, incident pre-planning, community outreach, fire prevention and life safety education, providing rehab at incident scenes, and much more.