Press Releases

MCVFRA Press Releases

Collective Bargaining Agreement Update

We are pleased to announce that your MCVFRA bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with Montgomery County at 2110 hrs. tonight for our 6th collectively bargained agreement (CBA)!  We met for many hours over the past 4 months tackling a host of complex areas including discipline, grievance procedures, LOSAP, and volunteer rights plus policies, procedures, and processes affecting the service. 

We completed all bargaining and discussions with respect, professionalism, and compromise producing a three-year tentative agreement that your team signed tonight. 

We thank Burtonsville VFD President Tami Bulla, Hillandale VFD Vice President John Bork, Cabin John Park VFD Past President Lee Hunter, Gaithersburg-WG VFD President Steve Hayes, Takoma Park VFD President Elmer Hamm, and Silver Spring VFD Past President Deana Cairo for their tireless work, dedicated service, and excellent counsel as your 2019-2020 bargaining team. 

Specifics of the agreement will follow in the coming days as well as the schedule and process for ratification which follows our by-laws and past practices. 

Congratulations to our members, our excellent bargaining team, the County’s team lead by Chief Negotiator Bill Scott, Esq., and the County Executive for an excellent agreement reached without mediation, arbitration, or a cross word uttered. Professional all the way and a great agreement with significant benefits and improvements. 


Eric N. Bernard 
Executive Director and Chief Negotiator 
Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Rescue Association

PRESS RELEASE: Cardin, Van Hollen Announce $1.2 Million for Recruitment of Volunteer Firefightersin Prince George’s and Montgomery County

For Immediate Release
August 14, 2017

CONTACT: Ian Jannetta (Van Hollen) 202-228-0672
Sue Walitsky/Tim Zink (Cardin) 202-224-4524

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have announced that the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department have been awarded a total of $1,229,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recruit and train new volunteer firefighters. The grants will ensure adequate staffing levels to respond to fire and emergency medical calls.

The Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association has been awarded $530,000 to recruit and retain volunteers to adequately staff the 19 volunteer stations throughout Montgomery County. Their program will provide a valuable tuition assistance program for active volunteers to pay for college courses. In addition, the Association will reinstitute a high school cadet program to recruit and train high school students to become volunteers from the County’s 26 high schools. Several years ago during the recession Montgomery County had to cut funds for a very successful high school cadet program.

The Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $699,000 to initiate a county-wide volunteer firefighter recruitment effort to support the 37 volunteer Fire/EMS Departments in Prince George’s County in conjunction with the Prince George’s County Fire Commission and the Prince George’s Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.

“This grant is a federal investment in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties’ firefighters and residents alike,” said Senator Cardin. “We trust our first responders to protect our homes and our families. In turn, we have a responsibility to ensure that they have all the resources – and people – necessary to keep themselves and others safe. This grant helps us live up to that responsibility and keep our fire departments well-staffed.”

“Every day, firefighters in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and across our state put their lives on the line to protect our communities,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This grant will ensure that volunteer departments across our region have appropriate staffing levels to respond to emergencies, whether it’s an accident on I-495, a house fire in Largo, or a medical emergency like a heart attack. This investment will help these brave men and women keep our families, homes, and communities safe.”

Funding is available through FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant (SAFER) program. The SAFER grant program enhances the ability of fire departments around the country to attain and maintain 24-hour staffing by providing grants directly to fire departments. Specifically, the grants help fire departments increase the number of frontline firefighters and help rehire firefighters who lost their jobs during the economic downturn. The SAFER program provides approximately $345 million in competitive grants to fire departments and statewide or local
volunteer firefighter support groups.


PRESS RELEASE: MCVFRA Announces Award of Federal Grant for Recruiting New Volunteers


Contact: Eric N. Bernard, 301-455-6648


Montgomery County Volunteer Fire – Rescue Association Announces Award of Federal Grant for Recruiting New Volunteers


The Montgomery County Volunteer Fire – Rescue Association announced Thursday the notification of a new SAFER grant to support volunteer fire/rescue recruiting.

August 27, 2015 — Rockville, Maryland —The Montgomery County Volunteer Fire- Rescue Association received notification of a federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Rescue Response) grant today to support its core mission of recruiting new volunteer fire and rescue providers serving in the 18 volunteer fire and rescue departments in Montgomery County.

The award of $539,463 is the third SAFER grant the MCVFRA has applied for and been funded since 2007. The newest  grant continues funding for an additional four years for a full-time volunteer recruiter, including all benefits, funds to maintain and operate the first in the nation volunteer recruiting station, and maintaining a robust, effective and nationally recognized multimedia advertising campaign in the region.

Marcine D. Goodloe, President of the Association said “These funds continue our significant efforts in recruiting new volunteers to our 19 volunteer fire and rescue departments serving the residents of our County.  We are grateful for the support of our elected officials in securing these needed funds and look forward to continued successful recruiting in the years to come.”

“These funds come at a time when the challenges in recruiting new volunteers are greater than ever” said Eric N. Bernard, the Association’s long-time Executive Director.  “This is a huge boost to our efforts and will assure continued success.  We depend on the SAFER grants to allow us to reach out into our neighborhoods and let them know that we need new volunteers to serve!” he added.

The MCVFRA completed a 43 page recruitment business plan in 2006 when a centralized recruitment effort was developed to include all the County’s local volunteer fire and rescue departments. Over the past three years the plan received major revisions, updates, and completion of dozens of goals initially set.

“Our success directly relates to the combined efforts in recruiting and having our recruitment business plan, a complete multimedia marketing plan, and coordination with all the volunteer departments and Montgomery County government” Bernard stressed.

“The SAFER award reflects our excellent plans, goals and outcome in the preceding grants and recognizes the significant effort and success the Association maintains in recruiting new volunteers” Goodloe noted.

About The Montgomery County Volunteer Fire – Rescue Association:  Founded over 94 years ago, the Association represents the professional volunteer men and women who serve as firefighters, rescuers, EMTs, paramedics, and administrative members in 19 local volunteer fire and rescue departments in Montgomery County.  With over 2,400 members, the Association remains as one of the largest and most active organizations of its kind, working to strengthen and grow the volunteer system in Montgomery County.  These proud volunteers donate tens of thousands of hours each year, save County taxpayers countless millions of dollars, and provide residents with the highest quality of emergency care in the country.  Additionally, the volunteers own and operate the majority of the fire and rescue stations in the County and are routinely, without tax dollars and using donated funds, purchasing new fire engines, trucks, rescue squads, and ambulances, for use in service to the residents of the County.  Working side by side with career firefighters in 38 fire and rescue stations, taking the same training and meeting the same requirements as the career members, the volunteers of the Association are dedicated to saving lives twenty-four hours a day.