COVID-19: What We’re Doing For You, How You Can Help Us

The Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department is fully engaged with our partner agencies to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are making changes to operations and the way we interact with the community to ensure the safety of patients, responders and the community at large.

Our community holds us to an exceptionally high standard, and we take that responsibility seriously.

For more than a month now, and above and beyond our normal emergency response training and preparation, we have been working with leadership at the county and state levels to specifically plan, train and organize to tackle the daunting effort that will be expected from us in the coming weeks.

Preparedness

  • The HVFD is fully staffed 24/7 in our combination response system in partnership with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, with county firefighter/EMTs during weekday business hours and 100% volunteer staffing after 5pm weeknights, overnight and all weekends and holidays.
  • Our more than 100 volunteer firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, support and administrative volunteers are working together with our local and county partners to ensure we are prepared for all emergencies and community needs — from the pandemic we are facing to responses we run daily that don’t stop in the meantime.
  • The HVFD has established a COVID-19 Operations Committee to oversee all aspects of our response to this pandemic, including providing all personnel the most updated information.
  • HVFD on-duty personnel are actively tracked and twice daily health checks are performed including temperature and blood pressure.
  • Created new PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) bags to ensure these supplies are readily available for crew members.
  • Organized and secured PPE and cleaning supplies on hand while securing other sources of these critical supplies if needed. See our list here of what supplies would be helpful and how to donate.
  • Several local-based members have stepped up to move into the firehouse to bolster our existing live-in college student membership. These members are teleworking their day jobs from the firehouse and serving in rotating shifts along with our day career personnel and regular local-based volunteers on scheduled shifts.
  • The HVFD has obtained food supplies for our duty crews to cover all meals during this emergency. Businesses and individuals interested in donating to support these efforts, please click here for details.
  • At this time, no visitors, family members or off-duty personnel are permitted to visit the firehouse, this is explicitly to limit potential exposures to our crew members and to the public.
  • We have temporarily suspended processing of new volunteer applicants. If you are interested in volunteering in the future, please complete our short interest form on our recruitment page. We will get back to everyone once this emergency period is over and we’re able to resume ride alongs and other facets of the volunteer application process.
  • The HVFD has an existing dedicated volunteer staffing management team and platform, both of which are leading our efforts to rotate our dedicated volunteers to ensure rest and recovery.
  • We have redoubled our efforts at regularly sanitizing our station, apparatus, and equipment, and have implemented strict biocontamination control procedures for all first responders.

What to Expect When You Call 911

The HVFD and Prince George’s County have implemented several procedures and operational changes to limit personnel exposures during 911 response while providing the same top level of service, these include:

  • Don’t be surprised if you see our personnel wearing surgical masks routinely on calls or you may see providers donning protective gowns or masks. This is for everyone’s protection and is based on guidance received from local and national health authorities.
  • EMS units are unable to transport family members or acquaintances of the patient except in certain cases involving children.
  • Please only call 911 for emergencies. A 911 operator may ask you additional questions during this time to pre-screen you for any potential COVID-19 symptoms.

How You Can Help

To ensure the safety of our members and our community, PLEASE DO NOT DELIVER ITEMS, MEALS OR MONEY TO THE FIRE STATION WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL AND COORDINATION

We are all in this together: First responders, health care workers, our government leaders and, of course, you. Here’s how you can help:

DONATIONS

  • If you are a business or individual that would like to sponsor a meal for on-duty first responders, please visit our donation page here or email covid19@hvfd.com for more information
  • $60 can feed a full evening crew
  • $100 can feed a full weekend 24-hour crew
  • Any donations can also help purchase, if needed, protective equipment as well as future needs to deal with this and all other emergencies your HVFD responds to
Thank you for any support you may be able to provide, we know these are trying times for many members of our communities. Any donation is greatly appreciated and will go directly to support our volunteer fire, rescue & EMS organization that has served the Hyattsville, University Park and surrounding communities for over 130 years.

SUPPLIES

  • If you are a business that has extra N99, N95 or other masks, surgical gowns (or equivalent) and/or hand sanitizer, please email covid19@hvfd.com to review and coordinate potential delivery. As a reminder, please do NOT deliver any items to the firehouse without formal approval.
h/t BCCRS.org for the post theme.