Volunteer Information

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FVFD Membership Information

Welcome to the Fairfax Volunteer Fire Department. The volunteer department was formed in 1928. In 1940 the first paid staff members started working along with the volunteers. In 1978 the City of Fairfax started its career department and to this day the volunteers work side by side with the career staff. There are two stations in the city, Station #3, downtown on University Drive (385-7878), and #33, on Lee Highway (385-7943). Currently there are approximately 80 volunteer members and 50 career personnel within the department.

Membership Requirements
There are four membership statuses for volunteers. They are Recognized, Probationary, Full, and Life. To apply for membership you must fill out an application form. The membership committee will review your application and invite you to attend an interview session. Then, if accepted, you will be Recognized at a monthly membership meeting (second Monday of every month in the bingo hall at station 3, 7:00 PM). Attendance is mandatory at monthly membership meetings.

Probationary Membership
Once you have completed your In-Station Orientation Training (explained below) you will be eligible to become a non-riding Probationary member. To achieve Probationary member status you must be favorably voted upon by a 2/3 majority of full and life members present at a monthly membership meeting. At this point you will be issued a pair of pants, a T-shirt, a shirt and a baseball cap. You will be expected to purchase a pair of black leather steel tipped shoes or boots and a black belt to complete your uniform. You will then be scheduled to take a physical examination at our expense. When the results of the physical are returned clearing you to participate in training and department activities, you will be issued your turn-out gear (firefighting clothing).

Full Membership
Once you have been a probationary member for at least six months you will be eligible to be voted upon for Full membership. You must be favorably voted upon by a 2/3 majority of full and life members present at a monthly membership meeting. The decision to extend full membership will be largely based on your level of effort in training, time spent in riding the apparatus and learning, and your level of involvement in department activities such as bingo, open houses, station projects, etc.

Life Membership
Once you have been a member for 15 years you are eligible to be voted upon for Life membership. You must be favorably voted upon by a 2/3 majority of full and life members present at a monthly membership meeting.

The orientation training program is designed to start you on the process toward full qualification by orienting you in basic fire suppression and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) skills and providing you the essential safety and self protection training necessary to allow you to ride on the apparatus. The entire orientation training program consists of two major training segments. The first is the In-Station Introductory Training (commonly called "Red Hat" training). This portion covers:

  • Organization and Responsibilities
  • Volunteer Training Program
  • Orientation of Stations 3 & 33
  • Basic Life Support (EMS)
  • Firefighting in Clothing
  • Tool Familiarization
  • Hose, Adapters and Appliances
  • Vehicle Safety
  • Infection Control And Reporting
  • Breathing Apparatus and Personal Protective Equipment
  • Ladders
  • "Red Hat" test to evaluate this portion of your orientation training

The second part is the Level 1 Initial Emergency Response Course presented at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Training Academy. This course covers:

  • Blood Borne Pathogens
  • Personal Safety and Accident Awareness
  • Incident Management System and Accountability
  • Communications
  • CPR
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Hazardous Materials Awareness
  • Equal Opportunity/Discrimination


Riding "Red Hat"
Once the orientation training has been completed, and the results of your physical examination have been returned, you will be able to ride the fire apparatus as a "Red Hat". "Red Hat" status allows you to ride the fire apparatus and gain some hands-on experience prior to completing your Emergency Medical Technician and Firefighter training. Riding as a Red Hat allows you to learn without being subjected to most of the risks and hazards. You may not enter burning buildings, participate in activities requiring advanced training or be subjected to hazardous environments. Each riding shift must be at least 4-hours in length and you must ride at least 20 hours each month. Also, you must also sign up for Bingo three times every 4 months.

Firefighter Qualification Training
Once becoming a probationary member you will have two years to become fully qualified by completing the Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) and Firefighter I and II (FF I, II) courses. We do not offer an EMS only program; you must become both a Firefighter and EMT in our department.

  • EMT-B: This course teaches you how to provide Basic Life Support services during emergency situations, is approximately three months long and meets one week night and one weekend day per week (about 12 hours per week).
  • FF I/II: This course teaches you how to properly and safely handle yourself and fire fighting equipment at a fire scene. It takes approximately five months to complete and usually meets on two week nights and every other weekend (about 10 to 24 hours per week).


Minimum Staffing Qualification
Once you have completed EMT-B, FF I/II, and station minimum staffing training you will be able to ride apparatus that you are qualified on as a minimum manning crew member (can take the place of a career person) or serve in a primary crew position on a reserve vehicle. Replacing a career person when he or she is out sick, on vacation, or in training can save the city considerable overtime pay.

Continuing Education
All members are required to complete at least 40 hours of training per year (fiscal year July to June) in order to retain riding status on the apparatus.