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12535 Old Frederick Rd
Sykesville, MD 21784
Emergency Dial 911
Station 3: 410-313-5403

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Volunteers Wanted!


Looking for a fulfilling volunteer opportunity that allows you to give back to the community? There’s a volunteer opening to fit everyone’s interest, ability and schedule at the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department. Whether you choose to be a Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician, Administrator or Auxiliary member, the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department has a place for you.

Interested? Continue reading below - it will briefly provide you with all the basics of how the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department operates and how you may fit into the organization.


The following is a brief outline designed to help you learn about the background, structure, volunteer opportunities, training, and benefits associated with the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department. You will also find a guide to the application process and the steps necessary to become a volunteer.


The West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1944 and provides fire, EMS, and rescue services to the community as a part of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services. 

It is staffed by volunteers as well as paid, career personnel, and responds to approximately 2500 calls per year.


A Board of Directors oversees three volunteer divisions within the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department: Operations, Administration and Auxiliary.

Operations is led by the Chief, who oversees the day-to-day fire/EMS emergency operations, and consists of trained personnel.

Administration is led by the President, and is made up of those who may or may not be trained to participate in Fire/EMS emergency operations, but assist in the business aspects of the company.

Auxiliary is comprised of volunteers who wish to provide additional support to the fire department through special events and fund-raising activities.


Prospective volunteers may submit an application to any one of these divisions, depending on their areas of expertise and/or interest.

Operations requires a high level of dedication and training, owing to the direct impact it has on the lives on those in the community; as a result, a considerable investment is made by the department to train and equip its personnel. In return, an Operations volunteer must be an active member of a duty-crew, which dedicates one night a week to providing emergency services. Volunteer hours are tracked to ensure participation, staffing, and membership.

Administration keeps the department up and running. Finance, bookkeeping, records management, report development, recruiting, public relations, plus general clerical and custodial activities make up some of Administration’s responsibilities. Volunteer hours are varied and are tracked to ensure participation, staffing, and membership.

Auxiliary provides support for special events and fund-raising activities.


Within Operations, there are two basic areas in which one can focus: Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician. Both require significant training due to the nature of the work involved.

Firefighter requires over 110 hours of training, and runs concurrent with duty-crew responsibilities.

Emergency Medical Technician requires over 165 hours of training, and runs concurrent with duty-crew responsibilities.

All training and associated uniforms are provided at no cost to the volunteer.


Training, equipment, physical examinations, workman’s compensation insurance, and life insurance are provided at no cost to the volunteer.

A Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) is available to Operational and Administrative members. This is a Howard County system that tracks service time by assigning "points" to activities associated with the volunteer’s various areas of responsibility. Points accumulate for everything from emergency calls, meetings, fundraising, training, duty time, and the like. After three years of service with at least 50 points per year, a volunteer is eligible for a Maryland state income tax deduction which continues as long as the volunteer acquires 50 points each successive year.

Furthermore, after a volunteer reaches the age of 50 and has accrued 25 years with at least 50 points each year, the member will be eligible for a benefit payment equal to 1% of the current annual starting salary of a trainee in the Department of Fire and Rescue Services per month for life.

Howard County Government offers a property tax credit for certain public safety officers, including volunteer firefighters and EMTs. Operational members are eligible for a $2500 credit against the county property tax imposed on real property they own, provided they have maintained active membership and met all operating standards for the preceding year and for five years continuously. 


Mail or drop off a completed application to the attention of the Recruitment and Retention Committee to schedule an orientation meeting, receive a tour of the fire house, learn about the different volunteer opportunities, requirements, and have your questions answered.

If you decide to become a member, your application will be forwarded to the Applications Review Committee for routine vetting after which you will receive an invitation to attend a meeting where you can choose an area in which to serve, and to select a duty-crew night if applicable. At this meeting, you will be given the name and contact information of your immediate supervisor who will begin the induction and training process. After a six-month probation, you will receive a vote by the membership whether or not to be accepted as a WFVFD member.

Probationary Membership Application

Emergency Contact Form

Still interested? If so, we encourage you to take the next step and submit an application. Whether it's Operations, Administration or Auxiliary, we’re sure you will find the time you invest as a volunteer at the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department to be time well spent.

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West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department
P.O. Box 439
West Friendship, MD 21794-0439
Emergency Dial 911
Station 3: 410-313-5403
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