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Why Join the Volunteer Fire/EMS Service?

The best way to see what it’s like to be a volunteer firefighter is to hear the perspectives of people who do it each day. Meet a few folks who serve their community in this unique way and learn what their work is really like.


If you're ready to serve your community

in ways that few can, you have just about everything you need to get started.

Your local department may have some other requirements, such as a high school degree, a physical, and a background check.

But when it comes down to it,

volunteering as a first responder is all about having the heart and drive to make a difference where it's needed most.


When you sign up to be a volunteer firefighter or emergency responder, you'll receive all the training you need. Depending on your department's needs, you'll learn skills to help your community during fires, medical emergencies, and road and air accidents, just to name a few. Check out your local department to learn more!

Make an Impact in Your Community

  • Have you ever heard a siren or seen a fire engine – and wondered what was happening?

  • Have you ever witnessed or come upon a motor vehicle accident – and wished you could help?

  • Have you been there when someone was stricken with sudden illness – and wanted to assist?

  • Are you looking for new lifelong friendships, challenges, and rewards?

  • Do you want to become involved in your community?

  • Are you looking to supplement your retirement?

The fire and EMS service is one of the most diverse and challenging vocations today. It is this diversity that attracts most men and women to join our ranks.

Different people volunteer for different reasons. Action-oriented people enjoy the excitement and adrenaline rush that emergency services have to offer. Some see the volunteer fire service as an alternative to ‘driving a desk by day’ – by allowing them to ‘drive a fire truck or ambulance at night!’

Many like the feeling they get when they help people in their time of need and some feel it’s their obligation to serve the community. Yet others just want to belong to the team. Whatever motivates you to volunteer – everyone gains the self-satisfaction of being at their best when others are dealing with what is often the worst that life has to offer.

Imagine having to prepare yourself to cope with situations that range from structure fires to childbirth to hazardous chemical spills to heart attacks to almost any imaginable emergency in between. This diversity is coupled with the fact that these skills may be needed at any time of the day or night, seven days a week, in any kind of weather, and very often under potentially stressful and emotional circumstances. Yet these same factors contribute to our profession being so personally rewarding.

We realize that firefighting & EMS is not for everyone, but we believe that volunteering can be. There is plenty of work to be done on or behind the scenes, too.

The personal rewards and satisfaction received from what we do are often beyond description. There is a sense of accomplishment when you control a building fire, joy and elation when a child is born, compassion for accident victims, and fulfillment from teaching fire safety.

The bottom line in our business is measured by the loss of life, pain, and suffering, and the property damage we have prevented and reduced.

Volunteering in emergency services is one of the most important decisions you may make. We hope that you give this decision the time and serious consideration it deserves, and decide to join our ranks.

So Many Ways ...

From fighting fires and responding to medical emergencies to supporting events, providing administrative support and more — Maryland’s volunteer fire, rescue & EMS departments have many ways you can held a hand.

Plus, flexible scheduling!

So Many Benefits ...

The real reward is how you’ll feel about yourself — but that’s just the beginning. Being a volunteer with a Maryland Fire/EMS department brings with it many benefits including a healthy state income tax deduction, a LOSAP (Length of Service Award Program) with retirement benefits, scholarship opportunities, professional development and leadership training and much more.

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