Joining a volunteer department usually takes 1-3 months.  While the application process differs slightly among the 12 departments, the basic steps are:

  1. Choose one of the 12 volunteer fire and rescue departments.  For more information, see map.
  2. Contact one of the volunteer departments by phone, e-mail, or the information request form. The department will respond to your contact; some departments will invite you to an information session with other interested applicants.
  3. Submit an application.  Most departments will send you a paper application to complete with questions about your eligibility and desire to join; others will solicit this information during an interview.
  4. Attend interview.  The department will ask you to come in for one or more interviews.
  5. Background check.  You will be asked to submit fingerprints and driving records for an eligibility background investigation.
  6. Membership vote.  After your background check is completed, the department will vote on your application; if the department chooses to offer you membership, you will be sworn in as a Probationary Member and are ready to begin the most exciting journey of your life.
  7. Probationary membership.  New members most complete a period of probationary membership, during which time they must meet certain participation requirements before being eligible for full membership.

Choosing a Volunteer Department

If you are interested in becoming a fire and rescue volunteer in Fairfax County, contact one of the 12 volunteer departments.  If you do not have a specific department in mind, you may wish to learn about each of the departments by visiting their websites or by contacting the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Volunteer Liaison at 703-246-2295.

Often, volunteers will choose to apply to the department closest to their community or place of work.  In other cases, applicants may choose a department based on its size, the membership of friends or colleagues, or the specific operational and administrative opportunities offered by each.

While each department has its unique history, identity, and opportunities, all 12 departments operate in close partnership with one another and within the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department under the same banner, making volunteers in all 12 departments part of a close-knit team.

For those interested in applying to become a career firefighter with Fairfax County, visit the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Recruitment Section‘s webpage.

View FCVFRA Member Departments in a larger map