Because the number of volunteer firefighters nationwide has declined 15% between its all-time high in 1984 and its all-time low in 2011 and, because over that same period, the number of calls has increased nearly 300%, existing firefighters are suffering burnout.Kimberly Quiros, National Volunteer Fire Council
Goodwill Fire Company responded to over 1400 calls in 2017. We need volunteers with all kinds of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Besides the men and women who respond to emergencies, other types of volunteers are also needed. Fire departments need the services of individuals with experience in business, construction, computers, event planning, and fundraising.
Volunteer firefighting and emergency medical response is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have! The skills you learn can be used throughout your entire life and the opportunities presented to you are endless. Fighting fires as a volunteer requires the same hard work and training that career firefighters receive, so it stands to reason that there are some great benefits that come along with the job.
- Free Training
All Fire/EMS training is provided through UMD’s Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute at no cost to the volunteer.
- Free College Credits
Up to 39 credit hours may be awarded through University of Maryland University College upon successful completion of training courses. All that is required from the student is to pay the $50 application fee and the credit hours will be added to their transcript.
- Pension Program
Length of Service Award Program is offered through Queen Anne’s County. After 20 years of service to the county, participants will receive monthly distributions upon retirement.
- State Tax Deduction
Volunteers that have met the minimum requirements will qualify for an annual state tax deduction of approximately $5,000.
- Incentive Program within the Department
Incentives are offered for certain types of emergency response and upon meeting specific milestones.
- Queen Anne’s County Home Buying Assistance Program
- Share the Load
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse are long-overlooked health risks of firefighting. Nearly 100 firefighters complete suicide each year; that’s more than die in the line of duty. Share the Load provides a 24-hour hotline answered by firefighters who are trained counselors who can direct callers to additional resources for dealing with addiction, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many other mental health issues. This service is provided free of charge by the National Volunteer Fire Council.
- Paid Insurance Coverage for Line of Duty Injuries
- Paid Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
- Belonging to a New Extended Family
We are all brothers and sisters on the front lines of emergency management and we have to have each others’ backs out there. There are no words to express the unbelievable amount of trust, dedication, and support that each volunteer brings to the department. When you are voted into membership, you become one of us and we are there for you.
Volunteering is one of the best ways to make a difference in your life while having a positive impact on the lives around you!
Which type of membership is right for you?
- Active Member (Emergency Responder)
Must attend at least forty (40) emergency calls (EMS, Fire, or any combination thereof) OR fifty percent (50%) of the regular and special meetings each elective year (December 1 – November 30.) All active members must serve a probationary period of one year in which they may not vote or hold office.
- Auxiliary Member (Administrative Member)
Must attend four (4) regular membership or special meetings during the year AND attend a minimum of four (4) fundraising functions during the course of the year. Auxiliary members may take Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training or Queen Anne’s County sponsored Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for personal knowledge and community benefit. The corporation may sponsor an Auxiliary member for administrative training, such as grant writing classes, computer training, etc., deemed for the good of the corporation. Auxiliary members may serve on non-operational committees but will not have a vote on departmental matters and may be elected for only the Secretary and Assistant Secretary positions.
- Junior Firefighter (Emergency Responders aged 16 & 17)
Members who join the Corporation between the ages of sixteen (16) and eighteen (18). They shall not hold office, vote in the election of officers, on the election of new membership, or on amendments to the by-laws, but shall enjoy all other privileges of an Active member.
- Cadet Member (Emergency Responders aged 14 & 15)
Members who join the Corporation Cadet Program at the ages of Fourteen (14) and Fifteen (15.) Cadets shall have a work permit on file with the Fire Chief, Serve at the discretion of the Fire Chief, are not voted on until they are eligible for Junior Firefighter membership. They shall not hold office and will have no vote in any matters of the fire company, to include: election of officers, election of new membership, or amendments to the by-laws. They may only ride apparatus after a policy allowing such has been empowered by the company, if State of Maryland laws allow it. Cadets shall enjoy all other privileges of a junior member and may be issued wearing apparel that designates them as a GWFC Cadet.