bethesda chevy chase rescue squad


Volunteer Pre-requisites

  1. Minimum age

  • Junior members must have reached their 16th birthday, and not yet reached their senior year of high school
  • Regular applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have completed high school. 


  1. Medical clearance
    • All applicants must complete a physical prior to being cleared to ride. The physical is administered by the Montgomery County Fire/Rescue Operational Medical Services, and includes: a vision test, hearing test, chest x-ray, PPD skin test for tuberculosis, a cardiac stress test, blood tests, drug screening, and a physician exam.
  2. Criminal background check and fingerprinting
  3. Service commitment
    • Applicants are expected to provide one month of service for each month of probationary training. It typically takes 12 to 18 months to complete the probationary period and attain charge EMT status, so the minimum expected commitment is two to three years of membership.

Training Requirements

Many of our volunteers begin without any fire or EMS training or experience. All volunteers begin as probationary members until minimum training requirements are met. Once the probationary period is complete, volunteers may choose to gain additional training in emergency medical services, fire/rescue services, or both. All training is provided free of charge.

All volunteers begin as probationary members. The probationary period is time-intensive, as members gain experience and meet federal, state, county, and rescue squad training requirements, including: 

  • BCCRS probationary class 
  • CPR training
  • FEMA IS100 and IS700
  • Montgomery County required courses
    • Equal Employment Opportunity
    • Cultural Diversity
    • Blood Borne Pathogens
    • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)  
    • Protective Envelope and Foam
    • Hazardous Materials Operations
  • Maryland EMT certification
  • Tech training
    • Voice/Radio
    • ePCR software
    • Mobile data computers
    • FireApp software
  • BCCRS in-house tests and internship



EMS Track

  • The primary focus of the EMS track is patient care. To become a private and end the probationary period, all member are required to earn charge-EMT status. Charge EMTs are responsible for patient care on an ambulance, or basic life support (BLS) transport unit. Additional emergency medical services training is available, but not required. Many EMS track members go on to be certified ALS providers or paramedics, responsible for patient care on advanced life support transport units. ALS providers receive training in advanced airway management and intubation, IV insertion and maintenance, pharmacology, and cardiac care. EMS track training includes: 



Fire/Rescue Track

  • The Fire/Rescue track begins with patient care, but expands to include the fire, rescue, and technical rescue training required to ride our heavy rescue squads. At a minimum, Fire/Rescue track members are trained and certified at the Maryland Firefighter I and Firefighter II level, and receive additional in-house training on firefighting, search and rescue, rapid intervention and firefighter rescue, high and low angle ropes rescue, and auto extrication. Additional fire/rescue track training includes: 
    • ​​Technical rescue, including high and low angle rope rescue and swift water rescue     
    • Auto extrication
    • Firefighting strategies and tactics
    • Emergency vehicle operator - learn to drive the heavy rescue squad
    • Pumps and hydraulics
    • Aerial operations
    • Fire instructor
    • Fire officer


Time commitment

  • Fire/EMS volunteers must commit a significant amount of time to gaining and maintaining their skills. Initial training requirements are extensive. However, once the initial requirements are met, less time is required to maintain those skills and certifications.
    1. Coursework
      • The first year at the squad is the most time-intensive. It requires over 200 hours of training and coursework, including:
        • BCCRS probationary class (9 hours)
        • Emergency Medical Technician – Basic (165 hours, includes CPR)
        • FEMA IS100 and IS700 (1 hour each)
        • Montgomery County required courses
          • Equal Employment Opportunity (3 hours)
          • Cultural Diversity (3 hours)
          • Blood Borne Pathogens (3 hours)
          • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1 hour)
          • Protective Envelope and Foam (9 hours)
          • Hazardous Materials Operations (24 hours)


On Duty Requirements

  • The basic duty requirement: Shortly after you join, you will be assigned to a night crew and (with one exception) will stand duty the same night each week. When assigning you, the Rescue Squad will make every effort to honor your preference for a specific night crew, but we also seek to keep the crews balanced.
  • Your basic duty requirement will be a 12-hour shift once a week from 7 pm until 7 am. During this period, you are at the station and responding to emergency calls. Night crew members have the same duty night every week, with the following exception: to ensure that no crew is forced to stand duty every Saturday night, we do not have a Satuday night crew. Instead, each sixth week, a "Roving" crew will take your normal duty night. You, in turn, will stand duty on Saturday night and into Sunday day. Sound confusing? Don’t worry, logistics such as this will be explained after you are accepted into the Rescue Squad.
  • Junior members have a shorter duty shift, from 7 pm – 11 pm on school nights. Junior Members who do not have school the next day are encouraged to spend the night at the Rescue Squad to further their experience and training.
  • The weekend duty requirement: Probationary members are required to stand three 5-hour weekend duty shifts (15 hours, total) three months. Weekend duty shifts are 8am to 1pm, and 1pm to 6pm Saturdays, Sundays, and most federal holidays. Members sign up in advance for the weekend duty shifts every three months, so they may tailor weekend duty to their schedules. Privates and above are required to stand five 5-hour weekend duty shifts each quarter.
  • Additional duties include participation in the annual open house (Rescue Day), cleanups in the spring and fall, and Christmas tree sales


  • Fundraising is the lifeblood of our organization because we do not take any direct tax money from Montgomery County. Our funds are raised from individual donors, businesses, and foundations, and are the basis of our annual operating budget. Every member for the first ten years of membership must participate in our annual fundraising drive. Every member is given a quota. It is not difficult to raise the quota but it does take additional time. For members who have been here for more than a year, there are incentive deductions. The more qualified you become, and the more emergency calls you run, the smaller your quota. Junior members do not do Fall Drive.


  • All members are required to attend the monthly membership meeting.
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