The Benefits of Joining Kensington Volunteer Fire Department as a Live-In Member

Did you know that the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department provides its members with the unique opportunity for free housing in exchange for their service as a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT? Members who have a full-time job, or are enrolled in school full time, can apply to become a live-in member. With the station being in close proximity to multiple institutions of higher education, including UMD-College Park, American University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins, Towson, Montgomery College and others, KVFD provides an excellent opportunity for those who wish to combine their college education with a thriving Volunteer Fire Department. 

Approved live-in members stay in a private bunk room and are provided with a bed and adequate storage for personal belongings. Live-in members have access to multiple desks, computers with internet access, and quiet work areas around the station.

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. Members of the department have come from Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and beyond to take advantage of our program, and many have gone onto successful careers as firefighters, paramedics, nurses, and doctors.

Here is some additional information that may help you make your decision to become a live-in member at KVFD!

Benefits Include:

  • Free Room
  • Tuition Reimbursement 
  • Experience (Gain a tremendous amount of experience as a Firefighter / EMT at busy company in an urban setting, and make memories and friendships that will last you a lifetime.)
  • Location – 4 miles from Washington, D.C., 37 miles from Baltimore, and 2 Miles from the Metro rail Red Line.
  • Free Uniforms
  • Free Training with the same facilities and teachers as career firefighters – Classes ranging from Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic, Fire Officer Development, and Heavy Apparatus Driving Courses
  • Free Wireless Internet and Computer Access
  • Free Access to Fitness and Physical Training Equipment
  • Free Bed Linens (Provided by the Company)
  • Tax Break – $7,500 Maryland State Tax break after 3 years of membership
  • Retirement benefits – Length of Service Awards Program


  • Apply to the Live-in coordinator for approval to become a live-in member.
  • Be qualified to serve in at least two minimum staffing positions on the ambulance and/or fire engine
  • Perform a minimum of four stand-by shifts each week
  • Perform assigned weekly house chores.
  • Live-ins MUST hold a full-time job, be enrolled in school Full Time, or a combination of the two.

We asked current KVFD live-in member, Thomas Youth to answer some questions about his experience living at Station 5. Check out his answers below!

Why did you decide to become a live-in member at KVFD?

I decided to become a live-in member because I wanted to get more experience in the fire department. I was already riding multiple shifts a week, so I figured that getting a room in the fire house would allow me to keep my station clothes and most of my living stuff where they were convenient. Moving in has also allowed me a great degree of independence as I pay my rent with the shifts that I ride. 

What is your favorite thing about living at the station?

I like being able to run a wide variation of calls that I would not be able to have if I only rode a handful of shifts a month. I also enjoy the connection I have with the career day staff that I would not have had I not moved in.

Why should someone apply to become a live-in member at KVFD?

As a live-in you have the most interaction with all the shifts, each shift has a different crew and a different culture, but as a live-in you can be a part of it all. The free dinners and living space is also a major plus.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about the live-in program?

Station 5 is centrally located in Montgomery County. You can get to most nearby city centers within 10 minutes. That means that you have easy access to Silver Spring, Bethesda, Wheaton, Pike & Rose, and Rockville. You also have a gym just downstairs, free of charge.

For more information contact our Vice President of Human Resources, Dan Henning at or visit our links.