Basic Membership Requirements
Live-In Bunkroom Membership
Ride-Along Observer Form
Volunteering in the fire department is a unique experience that can be as rewarding and educational as you choose to make it. Motivation, dedication and professionalism are qualities that successful volunteers must possess. Members of the Berwyn Heights VFD not only possess these qualities, but are continuously seeking to further their knowledge and skills as well.
Some of the benefits available to volunteers:
(Benefits marked with * have certain state mandated qualifying restrictions)
- Free uniforms, equipment and training
- High-speed wireless internet
- Dormitory style bunkrooms
- Separate female bunkroom
- Reciprocity consideration for out of state training
- Fitness equipment use including stair machine and weight center
- Convenient to the Metro Bus and Rail system and major commuter routes
- Tuition reimbursement for fire service technology and emergency medical technology majors*
- $3500 income tax subtraction*
- Retirement benefits*
- At least 16 years of age
- No previous training required (except for Bunkroom Live-In Program)
- Criminal background check conducted by Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department
- Completion of medical physical conducted by PGFD contracted representative
- Completion of Volunteer Recruit School (includes CPR and Infectious Control)
- Completion of Firefighter I or Maryland EMT-B within 18 months of membership and both within 36 months (except EMS-only and Administrative members)
- Particiption in the duty shift program (minimum of two shifts per month) to ensure station staffing
- Participation in Annual Spring Clean Up
- Participation in two shifts during Christmas Tree Sale
Once a member has attained specific levels of training and experience, they are eligible to participate in any and all of the duties and functions of a firefighter/EMT. Some of the general duties that one could expect to perform as a volunteer firefighter/EMT include:
- Fire suppression
- Rescue of victims trapped by fire or motor vehicle accident
- Treatment and transport of victims experiencing medical or traumatic emergencies
- Driving and maintaining emergency vehicles
- Providing various public assistance, inspection, investigation and educational services
Volunteers also have the opportunity to serve in many field and administrative positions within the department including line officer, chief or president.
Station staffing is maintained 24 hours a day because there is no "home response." There are 20 bunks available for members while providing overnight staffing.
Whether you are looking for a firefighting, EMT, live-in or administrative position, we have opportunities available for you. Volunteering in such a highly urban area is truly a unique experience, and the environment at Berwyn Heights makes it friendly, exciting and educational.
Bunkroom Live-In Program
Another option available to members is the opportunity to live at the station. Live-in bunkroom members do not have to pay rent, but are responsible for meeting greater attendance and participation requirements. The station is 2 miles from the University of Maryland, College Park and is near two Metro stations, making it a very convenient living location for students attending the College Park campus as well as the numerous other educational institutions in the DC metropolitan area. There is also easy commuter access to three Capitol Beltway (I-495) exits: Baltimore Ave (Exit 25), Kenilworth Ave (Exit 23) and BW Parkway (Exit 22), and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (Rt. 295).
Some of the specific qualifications for bunkroom residency are listed below:
- Must be 18 years or older
- Must be in college or employed full-time, or combination of work and school
- Must have Firefighter I (Pro Board, IFSAC, MFRI, or able to gain reciprocity)
- Must obtain Maryland EMT-B within one year
- Must obtain approval from the Chief and bunkroom officer
Past and present live-in members have gone on to jobs in some of the nation's busiest and most respected departments. By its very nature, the bunkroom responds to the majority of calls. As such, the reputation of the Department often relies on the actions of the Bunkroom Crew.
Ride-Along Observer Form
Download Ride-Along Observer Form
The Ride-Along Observer Program enables individuals interested in membership or in the operations of the fire department to get a first hand glimpse at what we're all about. The form can be downloaded, printed, completed and brought the day of your ride-along. Please call 1-2 weeks prior to your ride-along if you plan to stay overnight in our bunkroom.
(Note: Both applications require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. You can download a free copy here.)
If you have questions or issues that you would like to discuss before filling out an application or observer form, please contact us at any time. The station phone numbers are 301-474-7866 or 7886 (sorry, they don't roll over) or by using our online contact forms for general information or bunkroom live-in inquiries. Additionally, you may stop by the station to receive a tour and have your questions answered.