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If you've ever seen a fire engine responding to a call, you may have wondered what it's like to fight a fire or be an active member supporting your community. Maybe you've come upon a an emergnecy incident and wondered if there was a way you could help. You could just be looking for a way to give back to your neighbors, and join an orgainzation with strong friendships forged through community service. If any of that sounds like you, read on.
People join our fire company for different reasons. Many like the feeling of helping people in their time of need, or feel an obligation to give back to their community. Whatever motivates you to volunteer, everyone gains the self-satisfaction of being there to help someone out on what may be the worst day of their life.
Firefighting may not be for everyone, but volunteering in our organization can be. There is plenty of work to be done in support of our mission, including administrative roles and fundraising functions. Volunteering in emergency services is one of the most important decisions you may ever make. We hope that take the time to consider what it means to join our organzation, and take the leap by applying for membership.
Benefits of Membership
Scholarship & Tuition Reimbursements
- Many training courses are eligible for college credit with Maryland Fire-Rescue Institute (MFRI).
- Active members who enroll in Fire Science or EMS curriculums are eligible for tuition reimbursement from the MSFA State Scholarship Board.
- The Maryland State Firemen's Association (MSFA) offers scholarships to Maryland’s colleges & universities.
Length of Service Awards (LOSAP)
- Many jurisdictions in Maryland, including Worcester County, offer LOSAP programs where volunteers are paid a monthly cash award after serving a target number of years.
Income Tax Deductions
- Maryland allows active volunteers a $4,500 income subtraction on their Maryland Tax Return for meeting local eligibility requirements.
- Volunteers are allowed to deduct mileage expenses on both Federal and State income tax returns for documented participation.
Clothing & Equipment Distribution
- The company issues dress uniforms, equipment & fire gear is issued at no cost to the member
Training to State/National Standards
- All training is offered at no or nominal cost - from new recruit to Paramedic to Fire/Rescue Chief. Training is often transferrable and applicable to a career in fire or EMS service.
- From initial recruit training through advanced courses – all provide valuable education and experience toward a career in any chosen field, be it emergency services or another professional vocation.
- Many fire and rescue courses offered to volunteers through their local training academy or through the MFRI qualify for college credits.
High School Programs
- Many County school systems offer students the opportunity to train as cadets, working in a fire/rescue station with experienced firefighters and medics during school hours.
- The county’s programs allow a high school senior enrolled in our cadet program to potentially graduate with college credits through MFRI.
Banquets & Awards Programs
- We honor our volunteers during an annual banquet & awards program, recognizing length of service milestones, acts of valor, and outstanding service.
- Counties and municipalities also often acknowledge acts of valor, outstanding members and service “above and beyond” the call of duty and sometimes through local Chambers of Commerce, Kiwanis & Lions Clubs.
- Several businesses offer volunteer fire & rescue workers sizable discounts on food, merchandise and other professional services.
Insurance & Workers Compensation
- Members of the fire company are covered by workers compensation through Worcester County
Vehicle License Tags
- Specialty MSFA or PCVFC organization license plates are available to active members.
- Friendship, Fellowship, Family, Leadership, Teamwork, Accountability
- The opportunity to do meaningful work, while giving back to the community.
Much of the benefits information was compiled by the Maryland State Fireman's Association at http://www.msfa.org and modified for applicability to our fire company.
Types of Membership
- As a firefighter, you will train to handle a wide range of emergencies. Car wrecks, building fires, and medical assist calls are all a part of what we do. If you think that's exciting, apply today. If you're interested in fireground leadership, you can enroll in officer training and apply for a position in our line officer ranks during annual elections. Requirements for firefighters include attending monthly training, business meetings, and of course -- response to emergencies when called.
Administrative (Support & Fire Police)
- Our company has many administrative and fund-raising support roles for the business side of the fire company, as we exist as a 501c3 organization. From accounting, secretarial, information technology, public relations, building maintenance, and more -- there's much to do to keep the organization going. Currently, administrative roles in our fire company require active membership as a firefighter.
Associate (EMS Only)
- Our Associate membership supports the active firefighting membership with EMS roles (Emergency Medical Service). Girdletree is a BLS non-transport company)
?Firefighters (including Administrative roles)
- At least 18 years of age for full membership.
- No training required to join the company.
- Complete application to include full criminal background check.
- Completion of basic firefighter training during probationary year.
- Attendance at monthly meetings, drills, and occasional special events.
- Response to a minimum amount of emergency incidents over the course of a year.
Contact us for more information -- you don't have to be a firefighter to serve.