- About Us
the Harford County Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Association shall be the prevention and suppression of fire and the protection of life and property during such fires and emergencies as may occur in the Harford County, Maryland. To accomplish our mission it will be our duty to demand personal commitment, good morale character, pride, honesty and teamwork from each and every member of the organization regardless of rank or position.
The fire and EMS organizations are governed by the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association which is the assembly of representatives from each organization. The Association's senior leadership includes a President who reports directly to the Director of Emergency Services and the Harford County Executive.
As a whole the 12 volunteer fire and EMS organizations with their 1,500 members respond to approximately 8,000 fire responses each year and close to 25,000 EMS responses each year supporting a population of over 250,000 persons.
This all volunteer fire and EMS system is supplemented by the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association EMS Foundation which provides paid EMS personnel to cover vacant or partially vacant stations in addition to two roving EMS supervisors. In addition the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, a military installation location in Aberdeen and Edgewood areas of Harford County, also provides fire and EMS protection via mutual aid agreements with Harford County.
All volunteers are fully trained through the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI) and Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System (MIEMSS), the same organizations that train career firefighters. Those who wish to become a volunteer must first apply to their local volunteer organization. Operational and administrative requirements vary however in many instances members must first attend and pass an orientation session where they learn to properly operate the equipment they will utilize on the emergency scene.
Members go on to attend classes through MFRI and MIEMSS such as Firefighter 1 and EMT. These classes are 108 and 165 hours in length respectively and meet on a set schedule during the evenings during the week and/or all day on a weekend day to accommodate students. Once the member passes these classes he/she is eligible to attend higher level classes, including upper level management courses as their tenure grows. All these courses can be nationally certified and are recognized across the country. If a firefighter or EMS provider
For those who want to start their volunteer career early most all organizations offer a cadet program for persons aged 16-18. In addition to the department level training the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association has partnered with Harford County Public Schools to further allocate training to students. These students utilize work based learning sessions attending MFRI and MIEMSS classes to earn credit and certification.
In reality a volunteer firefighter has just the same, if not more training in some cases as a career firefighter does. Volunteers take their job seriously, treat those they care for on the fire and EMS scene with the utmost respect and professionalism.