The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad receives $1.8 million a year in contributions from residents and businesses and grants from community-minded organizations. These contributions, in conjunction with other gifts, bequests, and occasional State and Federal grants, fund the bulk of our $2 million budget. Unlike most other fire/rescue departments, the Rescue Squad does not receive a regular appropriated budget from any government.
Although our professionally trained volunteer Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, and Firefighters provide their services at no cost to the community, the cost of operating one of the nation’s most advanced and best-trained rescue squads continues to rise. On the average we need to replace one of our seven ambulance/medic units every other year, at a cost of $250,000, in order to keep serving the community with a top-notch fleet. Payroll for our employees (who staff our apparatus during the day, when many of our volunteers are at work or school) and administrative personnel will top $600,000 this year. We will spend $80,000 this year on fuel for our emergency vehicles and almost $70,000 to heat and cool our station. Other major expenses include insurance, vehicle maintenance, and medical supplies. Although Montgomery County provides radios, training classes, and two Fire and Rescue personnel on weekdays, the Rescue Squad does not receive a budget from Montgomery County, the District of Columbia, or any other government.
Many services, including High-Angle Rescue, Bicycle Emergency Response Team, and free non-emergency ambulance transport, would not be possible without the commitment of 150 professionally-trained volunteers and the generous donations we receive from the community.
The Rescue Squad subscribes to the Donor Bill of Rights, a set of fundraising principles designed to ensure good stewardship of donated funds and accountability in nonprofit management.
For more information about charitable giving see our Donate section of the website.