Requirements & FAQs

Fire Hydrant

Ready to get started, but have questions?

We’ve listed some common questions below.

Be sure to browse our benefitsopportunities, and why you should volunteer sections for detailed information on becoming a volunteer Firefighter/EMT, EMT, Paramedic, Administrative, Support or Auxiliary team member in Harford County.

Can’t find the answer(s) you are looking for? Please contact us.


Do you have what it takes to put others before yourself? Integrity, honesty, courage, selflessness, being a team player, compassion, commitment and competence. The competence will come from training to ensure a job is done safely and effectively. Other requirements vary by department, so please ask a representative from your department for more details.


What you’ll do is important, as others are depending on you to come through. Actual responsibilities vary by department, but every volunteer that responds to calls must complete training and selflessly protect their community at all times. Again, not all volunteers respond to calls, but everyone makes a difference. Let’s talk about how you can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need Prior Training or Experience?

Absolutely not. All training required to become a volunteer Firefighter, Firefighter/EMT or EMT is provided FREE of charge through county, state and federal programs. There are dozens of courses including hazardous materials, specialized rescue and beyond. Check with your department’s recruiter for more information.

How Much Time Will I Need to Spend as Volunteer?

Becoming a volunteer is a serious commitment — but we ensure it’s as flexible as possible to fit in with and work around your day-to-day life.

For those looking to be Firefighters and EMTs, this includes training that is conveniently scheduled on nights and weekends at locations in or near Harford County, flexible duty shift schedules and more. A new recruit without any prior training can expect to spend 300-400 hours their first year going through the process, initial training, events and more. Check with your recruiter for specifics to your chosen department.

Administrative, Auxiliary and Support volunteer opportunities may be best if you are looking to volunteer but not ride fire trucks and ambulances — which also eliminates the required emergency operations training courses. Schedules for these opportunities are typically even more flexible than those for volunteers in operational fire, rescue and EMS roles.

How Long Does the Process Take

Every department in Harford County has different requirements and timelines for onboarding new members. On average, it takes 1-3 months to complete the application and review process.

This may include any number of activities, including visiting your local firehouse on one or more occasions, completing a criminal background check, passing a physical, initial training, interviews and more.

Please be sure to ask the recruitment representative from your department about their specific process and timeline.

Do I Get Paid?

The short answer is NO, you do not get paid money to volunteer.

However, there are MANY benefits to being a volunteer which you can learn about here. This includes a generous tax deduction for Maryland residents after several years of service, a Length of Service Award program which includes monthly or regularly scheduled financial benefits after a specific duration of service, free training including professional development (which may also help you secure outside employment in the Fire/EMS service), tuition incentives, events and much more.

Some departments may have other benefits which include some financial component based on training, experience, time served and other factors. Ask your recruiter for details.

We’re looking for individuals interested in volunteering their time to serve their community and make an impact for themselves, too! Is that you? Click here to get started today.

Ready to Learn More?

Contact Our Recruitment Team Now!