- Submit Interest form online
- Arrange, through the membership committee, to meet with someone from our station to complete the mandatory PGFD ride-along release paperwork.
- Complete 4 observer ride-along sessions at our station. Come down any evening or weekend and spend time getting to know our members. Sessions must be at least 3 hours in length to qualify.
- Once your 4 ride-along sessions have been completed, contact a member of the membership committee. Let us know whether or not you would like to continue with the LVRS membership process. If you decide you would like to join, you will be scheduled to meet with the Membership Committee chair person to interview and complete both the LVRS and PGFD application.
- Once your LVRS application is completed and approved, your name will be placed on the ballot at the next general meeting. If you are voted in as a new member, you will be asked to choose a duty period and you will be expected to begin standing duty within 2 weeks of the general meeting date.
- The PGFD application is more extensive than the LVRS application. The process includes fingerprinting at the PGFD Fire Services Building in Landover Hills and an extensive background investigation. Once cleared, you will be asked to undergo a mandatory physical at Concentra. The cost of the background check and physical are covered by PGFD. The process takes approximately 4-6 weeks.
What is LVRS like? Do you run a lot of calls?
LVRS is a private organization integrated into the Prince George’s County Fire Department (PGFD) system. We run 2 basic life support ambulances, a rescue squad, a rescue engine and a water rescue team. LVRS equipment is staffed by career county firefighters from 7am to 3pm, Monday through Friday. At all other times, and augmenting the career crew during the day, LVRS is staffed entirely by volunteers. In addition, our station has the capability of “upgrading” our basic life support ambulances to paramedic status when the appropriate providers are available, in station, to run advanced life support calls.
Do I need any prior emergency training to join?
No. You are not required to have any prior emergency medical or fire training. Training will be provided once you have completed both the LVRS and PGFD application process. All new members are required to attend the LVRS orientation class and the PGFD Volunteer Recruit School (VRS), which is an introduction into the County Fire Department. After completing the PGFD orientation, you will become eligible to sign up for other training. These classes, and others, are provided without charge by either LVRS or PGFD. LVRS members are encouraged to participate in a variety of training including additional EMS, fire and rescue classes.
Are there any organization requirements to be a member?
Yes. Our active operational members are required to stand 12 hours of duty a week, the same night every week, from 7pm to 7am unless you have to leave earlier for work or school. All active operational members are required to become emergency medical technicians within 18 months of joining. Emergency medical technician classes are usually held in the evenings from 7pm to 10pm, two nights a week, at the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute in College Park. The class is approximately five months long. Administrative only members are required to chair a committee or take on a significant administrative position within the organization.
What will I be able to do at first?
New members typically observe ambulance and squad operations and participate in any duty night training and chores. New members are required to complete the PGFD VRS class before they can perform any “hands on” patient care. When you begin to ride, your function will be limited by your level of training. As familiarity and training increase, you will move up to performing functions requiring increasing amounts of responsibility.
Can I only come down during my duty period?
No! Many of our members serve additional time outside their 12-hour a week uniform duty period requirement. We are busy enough that there is often a need for additional personnel, and it is a great way for new members to gain additional training, as well as meet other members of LVRS. There are also several committees within the organization that are looking for additional help to perform duties outside of the usual operational tasks.
What if I work a variable schedule?
We will try to accommodate those people who work shift work or varying schedules. The nature of the services we provide, and the necessity for continuous, supervised training for new members makes it difficult for LVRS to adequately train new members that are not serving a regular duty period. We require all new members to serve at least the first six month probationary period on a regular evening duty period so that the duty officer and/or senior member can continually monitor your training and periodically evaluate your progress.
What happens if I have a record?
Depending on the incident type, and ultimate disposition of the incident, the county may still allow the applicant to participate in emergency operations. Due to the often sensitive nature of EMS/Fire/Rescue work though, the county has higher standards that its members must live up to and abide by in order for the public to be able to put its trust in us. Especially under the new background investigation process, any previous incidents are likely to show up on an investigation. The process will go more quickly if you provide the information truthfully on the application. Appeals are available if you fail the background investigation and feel that there are mitigating circumstances.
What if I want to be a career firefighter or paramedic?
Many volunteers have gone on to become career personnel within PGFD and other jurisdictions. Becoming a volunteer and getting the training is good preparation for trying to get a career position, but does not guarantee that you will be hired.