The Silver Spring Fire Department has the several different categories of membership, which are described below. Click here to request information about our membership application process.
Emergency Medical Services Member
Student Live-In [Program temporarily on hold]
High School Cadets [Program temporarily on hold]
Lateral Transfers (in and out of Montgomery County, MD)
Life Safety Unit
Approved applications for membership are voted on at the monthly Departmental Membership Meeting. Those meetings are held on the first Monday of each month (unless it's a holiday) at Fire Station 16. Applicants must be in attendance at the meeting unless previously excused by the Chairperson of the Membership Committee.
Upon acceptance into membership into the Firefighter/Rescuer, Emergency Medical Services, Cadet and Student Live-In categories new members are expected to complete required training classes. This required training includes both Department and County required classes. Based on membership category new members are required to complete the following:
EMT-Basic. This course is 165 hours long and provides training and Maryland certification on treatment and aid to patients suffering from medical emergencies and injuries. This certification is the minimum required for personnel to ride as a provider on an ambulance or as an assistant on a paramedic unit. The course is typically taught in a variety of configurations to meet most member's work schedules. It usually lasts about six months.
Firefighter I/II (firefighter/rescuer, cadet, student live-in) These courses, each lasting about 60 hours, provides the required training and Maryland certification on how to respond to fire related emergencies while riding on fire engines and other related apparatus. Each course is typically taught in two classes per week: one weekday evening and a weekend day, lasting approximately 6 months.
CPR (all categories) Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation training is provided to all members of the fire service. It will prepare you for handling patients who are not breathing or do not have a heartbeat, patients who are choking, and how to apply and operate an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
EEO and the Law (all categories) This is an online class
Cultural Diversity (All categories) This is an online class
Information Technology (Radios, Computer Aided Dispatch, etc.) (All categories) Some available online with follow-up testing at the IT Training facility.
Hazardous Materials Operations for First Responders (All categories) Lasting approximately 30 hours this class provides training in the initial actions firefighters should take when responding to an incident involving hazardous materials. These incidents may be large or small in size and nature, but require the same method of approach in the initial stages of the incident.
Personal Protective Equipment and Foam – PEAF (All categories) Twelve hours in length. This class prepares students for the use of their protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus and techniques and use of Class A (ordinary combustibles) foam.
Blood Borne/Airborne Pathogens (All categories) An on-line course.
Silver Spring or Montgomery County Volunteer Basic Orientation Class. Based on the number of potential students new members will participate in a Volunteer Basic Orientation Class (VBOC) taught either by Silver Spring members or through the County Fire & Rescue Association. This class last 10 to 12 weeks.
Active riding members are required to participate in the Department's Standby Program. Upon joining the Department and following completion of basic training, a new member will be assigned to a station to complete additional training and being the process of riding an ambulance as an observer. Members are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of standby duty time in two 12-hour shifts per month. The member has flexibility in scheduling the 12-hour duty shifts. These duty shifts are typically done from 6:00 PM until 6:00 AM the next morning. Exceptions may be granted for those with work schedule conflicts. Personnel in all categories except Cadet, Administrative and Life Safety Unit must participate in the standby program. Live-in members have contractual requirements related to standbys.
In addition to the pride you get from volunteering in your community and helping those in need when an emergency occurs there are many other benefits to membership with SSFD. These benefits are a small token of appreciation for the time members contribute. They include supplied uniforms, meal reimbursement, college tuition reimbursement, free training, Maryland State income tax credit, worker’s compensation coverage, supplemental insurance, access to exercise equipment and computers as well as live-in status. Details of these and other benefits will be covered during an open house for future members. If you would like to print this information for reviewing at home and the associated application please click here.
Emergency Medical Services
Members respond to vehicle crashes, sick calls, fires and other incidents where medical assistance might be needed. This service provides one of the most significant impacts to the Silver Spring community.
Fires threaten our community at all times. They may occur in single family homes, high rise buildings, garden apartments or commercial establishments. Members are trained in all aspects of firefighting enabling them to mitigate the most arduous of incidents.
High School Cadets
Students in Montgomery County High Schools and non-public high schools may participate in the SSFD High School Cadet Program. Public high school students may participate in a program administered by the Public Service Training Academy or with the SSFD non-public high school cadets. Non-public high school students participate in a program developed by the SSFD. Students in both programs learn team skills and are trained as emergency medical technicians and/or firefighters. A cadet must be 16 years of age and have his/her parents/guardians approval to participate as a cadet member. When the student reaches 18 years of age he/she may apply for a regular membership with the SSFD. [The cadet program is currently on hold. We hope to reactivate it soon!]
Men and women enrolled in an institution of higher learning may participate in the SSFD College Student Live-In program. These individuals are normally housed at Station 16 and, for the most part, are enrolled in the fire science program at Montgomery College or the fire administration or fire protection engineering program at the University of Maryland. All live-in members must possess Firefighter II and EMT-B certification. Live-ins coming from out of state can obtain those certifications in a summer day-time class given at the Montgomery County Public Service Training Academy. Potential students who have completed Firefighter I and II classes outside of Montgomery County can get equivalency if the granting agency participates in the National Professional Qualifications Board certification process. Student Live-Ins must sign a contract that includes required in-station standbys. [The student live-in program is currently on hold. We hope to reactivate it soon!]
Lateral Transfers (in and out of Montgomery County)
Firefighters and officers who are currently members of other Montgomery County fire departments are invited to transfer their membership to SSFD. This transfer is completed by submitting a letter requesting the transfer, a completed SSFD application and a PSTA transcript. Providing the member is in good standing with his/her existing department transfer will be granted. Firefighters and officers from outside Montgomery County are also welcomed into the department through a lateral transfer. The same process will take place. If the perspective member’s department participates in the National Professional Qualifications Board certification process all courses the individual has successfully completed (including a Pro Board certification) will be accepted in Montgomery County.
Citizens within the Silver Spring community who wish to assist the Department in a non-emergency response capacity may do so as an Administrative Member. These individuals may assist in office work at headquarters, do articles for the web site, help in the uniform locker, etc.
Life Safety Unit
Those individuals are also non-emergency responders, but join the Life Safety Unit to assist SSFD in presentation of programs in the community. These programs are designed to assist in the prevention of injuries and fires. Such work includes instructing in a Baby Sitter's Class, installing child safety seats in automobiles, conducting community CPR classes, etc.