It takes volunteers to save lives

April 18, 2016

Photo courtesy Rebecca Bennett.

BY REBECCA BENNETT — On Sunday, April 10, the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department (HVFD), located at 6200 Belcrest Road, hosted a recruitment day as a part of a state-wide recruitment effort.

The volunteer fire department said it welcomed 20 prospective members on Sunday and at a Monday night monthly meet and greet.  After potential volunteer recruits complete an application, they complete a checklist of tasks, which includes a ride along with HVFD, completing a Prince George’s County Fire & EMS application, a background check, a physical, FEMA courses and the Prince George’s County Volunteer Recruitment School.


According to HVFD, the reason to volunteer is that it takes people to save lives. “[HVFD] is comprised of your neighbors, your friends and maybe even your relatives. They are people just like you — with families, jobs and active lifestyles who still find time to give back to their community,” a recruitment guide said.

The past few months have been its most successful recruitment effort to date, HVFD said.  The volunteer fire department brought on 23 new members, including 16 already certified as EMT’s, and seven with prior firefighter training or experience, including two former chief officers.

In 2015, 31 new operational members joined HVFD.  Sixteen of those recruits have been certified as EMT’s and several with prior firefighter experience are now fully qualified firefighters. Over the last three years, HVFD has had the most new volunteer recruits in Prince George’s County, a spokesperson said.

According to HVFD, they had a total of 107 active volunteers over the past four months in operational, administrative and supportive roles. Operational members alone logged more than 16,000 staffing hours, HVFD said.

Beyond first responders, HVFD said there is plenty to do behind the scenes, which includes accounting, logistics, computers, public relations, maintenance, community education and administrative functions.

The volunteer fire department usually holds two recruitment days per month.  One is on the second Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m.  For more information about joining HVFD, inquire in advance by completing the form at http://www.hvfd.com/join

HVFD is also taking tax-deductible donations that support training, equipment, volunteer recruitment and retention, etc.  Visit http://www.give.hvfd.com

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