The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (BCCRS) has launched a new program to provide financial incentives to volunteers who live at the station in return for increased duty requirements.
"Volunteer EMTs, paramedics and firefighters provide the bulk of our staffing. We need to recruit and retain high-quality emergency personnel, and this is our way of supporting those volunteers who give the most to our community," said Ken Holden, president of BCCRS.
Under the new program, live-in volunteers who ride at least 36 hours per week will qualify for a $750 stipend quarterly. Those riding 48 hours per week or more will receive $1,000 every quarter. Volunteer personnel must be EMTs and have at least one additional operational qualification (e.g., emergency driver, paramedic, and firefighter).
"This program is designed to be a win-win for our members, our department, and our community," said BCCRS Chief Ned Sherburne. "The incentive will help residential members with the high costs of living and volunteering in the Bethesda area, while the department benefits from a core group of highly experienced volunteers."
The stipend program is being launched in conjunction with the completion of new live-in quarters for volunteer personnel. "Live-In" members—those riding 48 hours/week or more—are eligible to for semi-private rooms in a suite that includes a dedicated lounge and kitchenette. "Permanent Sleeper" members—those riding 36 hours/week or more—qualify for sleeping and living space that is separate from the main bunkroom.