All Harford County Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical Services Association (HCVFA) 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.
This training is free of charge to active members of volunteer companies.
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 I 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 of these courses can be nationally certified and are recognized across the country.