The following steps need to be followed to become a member with the Riverdale Heights Volunteer Fire Department.
- Fill out our online Membership Interest Form — Our Recruiter or his/her designee will contact you to schedule an orientation. Orientation will consist of: history of the Riverdale Heights VFD, application process, training requirements, duty scheduling, benefits of becoming a volunteer, and the opportunity to complete an application for membership.
- Meet with the department’s Recruiter or Membership Committee for Orientation — Fill out the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Application. Submit notary form, photographs, and application to the Fire Commission for processing after being fingerprinted. Junior members (ages 16 and 17) will need additional paperwork submitted to the Juvenile Court of Prince George’s County as well as a work permit. Background check takes less than one week. Sometimes, certain traffic violations (i.e., speeding & parking tickets) will impede you from continuing through the process; in this case, an exception may be obtained. For your privacy, the investigators will not release anything about your background to us. You may appeal the investigators decision in some instances.
- Background check accepted by Public Safety Investigations and approved by Fire Commission — Attend the next month’s business meeting at the RHVFD to start your probationary period. Currently, all new members will be held to a six (6) month probationary period. Monthly business meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm.
- Comprehensive Medical Evaluation aka Physical — Once your background has cleared, you are now cleared to continue with the application process by scheduling your NFPA Comprehensive Medical Evaluation. This physical includes alcohol and drug testing as well as a cardiac stress test, which will have you on a treadmill while your heart is being monitored for 12 minutes at different speeds and elevations. If you currently have or had previous medical issues, it would be wise of you to get copies of your past medical records for the doctor to review as this may slow your process down.
- Volunteer Recruit School/Equivalencies — Once you’ve completed and passed your NFPA Physical, you will be given your PGFD ID number. You will now complete FEMA ICS 100 and ICS 700 online training and then schedule you for the next available Volunteer Recruit School class. VRS is a one week, four day classroom training session that teaches you about the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department. If you do not currently have American Heart Association (AHA) BLS Healthcare Provider CPR, you will need to take the certification class in VRS. All new members without previous training certifications MUST attend all four days of class. Equivalency members, those with certified training, need only to report for the first day of VRS. Upon successful completion of VRS, you will be contacted by the Fire Commission to schedule and report to the office to obtain your PGFD Personal Accountability Tag (PAT) and ID Card. Also with equivalency members, please submit all training records and certificates to the Recruiter at the time of your orientation so we can submit all necessary paperwork to the Fire Commission to get all certificates approved quickly.
- Maryland Firefighter I & Maryland/National Registry EMT Training — Under Prince George’s County Law CB-82, all firefighters MUST be certified as Emergency Medical Technicians. You will have thirty (30) months to complete Maryland Firefighter I and Maryland/National Registry EMT after completion of your NFPA Physical. For EMS only members, you will have eighteen (18) months to complete Maryland/National Registry EMT. All classes are taught by the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute. Their headquarters are located in College Park, less than two miles from the RHVFD. All classes will fall under the Southern Maryland Regional Training Center in La Plata, as Prince George’s County falls under Southern Maryland. We will discuss further training locations with you accessible to your location. Unfortunately, due to Prince George’s County CB-82, there are no “Firefighter Only” memberships, and all members are required to staff the ambulance as part of their membership requirements.