Join the Extraordinary – Become a Volunteer Firefighter

A whopping 67% of the nation’s firefighters are unpaid volunteers — that number is 722,800 strong. Among today’s many occupations, firefighting stands out as one of the most engaging, difficult, and gratifying. Most men and women are drawn to Kensington Volunteer Fire Department because of its breadth. If you have the desire to serve your community in ways that few can, volunteer firefighting could be for you.

What is the Role of a Volunteer Firefighter?

The duties of a volunteer firefighter are generally the same as a career firefighter. Despite the fact that many volunteer firefighters do not live in the firehouse, they still carry out the same emergency response and non-emergency services.

Active KVFD members volunteer a minimum of 14 hours per week. In emergency situations, volunteer firefighters should anticipate extinguishing and preventing fires. Additionally, rescues from burning vehicles or structures, transporting fire stations and ladders, and breaking down doors are other emergency scenarios they can expect to face. Every volunteer firefighter at KVFD is also a Maryland state certified emergency medical technician, or “EMT.” 80 percent of the calls for service that KVFD (and, the US fire service in general) run are medical emergencies. EMT’s are highly trained to provide in-the-field care for cardiac arrests, strokes, traumatic injuries and more.However, volunteer firefighters don’t spend all of their time in high-stress and dangerous situations. They also take care of regular jobs around the firehouse and other non-emergent duties.

What to consider:

Now that you’re acquainted with the day-to-day activities of a volunteer firefighter, you should think about the time commitment, physical challenges, and high-stress atmosphere that comes with the job. It is often a thankless profession with few concrete benefits that require considerable training and effort. Our volunteer firefighters are often driven by the satisfaction that comes from knowing you’ve helped those in need and made a positive impact on their lives. Before applying, ask yourself “is this for me?”

Becoming a volunteer firefighter:

If you decide that volunteer firefighting is the path for you, the first step is to fill out our online application for volunteer membership. After your application has been reviewed, you will receive a phone call or email to schedule an interview. Our interviews generally last 35-45 minutes.

If selected to continue your candidate position with the department, the next step is to schedule a physical examination with the Montgomery County Medical Office. Physicals are up to the standards of the NFPA 1001 (National Fire Protection Administration Medical Standard 1001) and will be performed at no cost to you. In addition, all applications are required to submit an official background check.

After the processes above are completed (within generally 90-120 days), you will be presented for the monthly company meeting in either April, June, or October. Once voted into membership. You will begin our six-week Kensington Basic Orientation Course (“KBOC”) that takes place on Saturday mornings. Following your completion of the course, you will begin an EMT class.

Men and women, age 16 and older who are in good physical condition and have the desire to participate in emergency fire and/or medical activities, are eligible and encouraged to apply. Please contact recruiter@kvfd.org if you have further questions or require more information.

Why KFVD?

Over seventy-five percent of each week’s total shift hours are covered by KVFD volunteers with all-volunteer crews. That is an honor that cannot be matched by any other volunteer fire department in Montgomery County. We never fail to react to those in need because we always have a substantial number of committed volunteers prepared and to respond.

We understand that firefighting and emergency medical services are not for everyone, but volunteering can be. There is plenty of work to be done behind the scenes. KVFD provides numerous forms of volunteer memberships,

  • Active Members: Participate directly in fire and rescue operations, including incident response and operation of apparatus and equipment.
  • Administrative Members: Members who choose to contribute to the volunteer service in the areas of fund-raising, public relations, education, administration, or as a member of the “Auxiliary.”
  • Trainee: Approved applicants that have been voted into membership and begun their 6-week in-house orientation course and EMT class.
  • Standby: You will be required to choose a regular duty night which starts at 5:00pm and you are required to sleep at the station that night until relieved at 7:00am or a weekend crew starting at 7:00 am until 6:00pm or 6:00 pm until 7:00 am.
  • Live-in Members: The Live-In program with the KVFD provides members with the opportunity to gain unparalleled firefighting and EMS experience in a relatively short period of time. The program offers some significant benefits including free room and board and tuition reimbursement programs.

Although we do not receive compensation in the form of a traditional “paycheck,” we do provide advantages in a number of other ways. Members of the Montgomery County fire and EMS service are eligible for a variety of benefits, including a retirement program, tax incentives, tuition assistance, free training, and companionship, to name just a few of these perks.

Join KVFD!

Making the commitment to serve as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician is a serious decision that involves a profound commitment. You should feel confident in your decision to join us and take the time you need to make that choice. Once you understand and have considered all that is involved, we hope you find that you are able to make the commitment and join the extraordinary firefighters at KVFD. Together, we are able to contribute to the safety of our community, one emergency at a time.

Are you up for the challenge, excitement, and satisfaction of serving your community? Fill out our application to join KVFD today!