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myth busting

People come from home for calls

In the “old days”, volunteers responded from home or the local area when a call was received.  Now, that is impossible with the amount of development and congestion in the area.  As a result, our station is able to support in-house personnel with housing, bunks, kitchen facilities, study area, fitness facility and many other daily necessities in order to keep our emergency responders available and ready to go at a moments notice.  Our leadership puts a lot of effort into maintaining these areas and making sure the house is “manned” with personnel at all times. Our support service personnel who staff and respond with the Canteen and Rehab unit respond from home. This is in place because their incident support role is under non-emergency conditions.

Volunteers do not receive professional training

All volunteer Fire and EMS personnel receive the same training as career personnel.  Each volunteer must complete comprehensive training courses consisting of both classroom and practical skills consisting of more than 200 hours for each discipline.  Each member is then tested and practical skills evaluated by board certified instructors. This is just the initial training requirement, most if not all students continue their FIRE and/or EMS education as well as refresher courses yearly.

Volunteer department only exist to help assist on big incidents

Volunteer companies have predetermined, local jurisdictions we respond “first due” regardless of the magnitude of the incident. They also respond to surrounding areas to assist accordingly.  The size of the incident is irrelevant.

Volunteer EMS units do not handle critical patients

Volunteer EMS personnel are trained in all aspects of patient care regardless of the seriousness of the patient. Volunteer companies respond, treat and transport all levels of patients. The White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company is able to provide BLS (basic life support) and ALS (advance life support) services.

The WMVFC has paid employees

The WMVFC is a volunteer Fire and EMS company. We do have a medic incentive program, which provided monetary incentives to EMS personnel to help cover continuing training/education, uniforms, scholarships, and other incidentals. We also have a part-time paid administrator who assist in daily human resources and financial tasks.

Tax money collected by the government pays for our entire operation

The WMVFC receives a subsidy from the county to augment overall costs to run the station and its apparatus.  MOST of our overall funding is received by community-based donations, which then goes directly back into the operation, maintenance, and upkeep the station and its equipment and supplies.

Our apparatus only responds to our first due district

The WMVFC responds to not only our first due district but surrounds areas as well.  This includes mutual aid responses to Harford County as well as other surrounding counties.  We respond to many other areas outside our first due for both Fire and EMS responses.

The WMVFC dictates how and what we respond to

The WMVFC have predetermined assignments by the Baltimore County Fire Department and respond to any and all of those emergency requests regardless of the severity or nature.

Volunteer Fire Companies are primarily social clubs

Volunteer fire companies are not social clubs. We operate as a nonprofit organization and are an intricate part of the State Fire and EMS service saving the tax payers a great deal of money by providing these services free of charge.  We are able to provide the incredible support we do by a group of dedicated volunteers and the support of the community.

Some stations augment their operating costs by providing their halls and open spaces for the public to use for various purposes for a donation to the company.

We only have to respond on calls; others handle all other aspects of the business

Our primary mission is to support the community and their emergency needs but behind the scenes, the company has an administrative support staff that provided the day-to-day needs and support to the company. This includes business professionals, maintenance personnel, financial professionals, fundraising, human resources, marketing, etc. These individuals handle all other aspects of the “business”.

WMVFC only responds to call in Baltimore County

The WMVFC supports not only Baltimore County but provides mutual aid support into Harford County and other surrounding areas as needed.

White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company

Station: 410-933-0100

Emergency: 911

pr@wmvfc.org