By Member Chris Scheer
April 1, 2024


Good Evening All: It has been a while since we've shared an update regarding the career staffing at the Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department (BVFD) and where we stand on possible temporary housing for both personnel and apparatus while any life safety hazards are addressed at our permanent station.

As of today, the County still has not been able to provide the results of our station assessment that was started on March 4th, we were told it may take up to 6 weeks to be completed, so hopefully we will receive that in the near future. The BVFD requested that an air quality test be performed during the assessment since diesel exhaust fumes were one of the main complaints - we have not received a report on this either. However, all personnel, both career and volunteer, still remain housed at our station.

It is our understanding that the County has acquired trailers that will be able to house personnel and accommodate daily operations if staffing should need to be relocated during any construction that may need to be done. The County is requesting use of our butler building across the street from the fire station for apparatus should it be needed. Currently, BVFD is working with the County to establish an agreeable memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the placement of the trailers and use of our property during any proposed contract work that may need to be done. Because this is a unique situation, the "cookie cutter" MOU proposed by the County was not agreeable to the Board of Directors of the BVFD and we are in the process of reviewing and making changes that will be proposed should something long term need to be established. In the meantime, our property will be made available for storage of the trailers if necessary.

Before we commit to anything that may be a unnecessary use of taxpayers dollars; and since we do not know exactly what work may need to be done to our station, or even if personnel will need to be relocated during the scope of work that may be proposed we are inclined to wait for the results of the assessment.

I would like to personally thank you for your continued support, concern, and commitment to the Beltsville Volunteer Fire Department.