The West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department is a governmental subdivision, which is managed and operated by volunteers from the community. The Department provides fire suppression and emergency medical services for a busy area – over 10,000 responses per year. Dedicated persons from the community volunteer many hours, sometimes many weeks and months per year, to take training and respond to emergency calls. Firefighter/EMT Jennifer Stanley is one of its most hard-working and invaluable members. As with all members of the Department, Stanley is a volunteer who puts her life on the line everyday without monetary compensation.
The West Lanham Hills VFD, like many other fire departments in Prince Georges County, Maryland depends on volunteers to provide vital emergency services to the community. Obviously, firefighting and emergency medical care are essential services. Within one year, Stanley took several hundred hours of training, became a fully qualified firefighter and EMT. She participates in the live-in program, which assures that personnel will respond to call for help around the clock. She has also assumed a leadership position as a Fire Sergeant, working with and training the new volunteers. Stanley plays a vital role in providing a real community need. Moreover, she leads others and trains them to correctly do the same. This serves all persons in the community who call for help, especially many of those who are indigent and less fortunate.
Stanley provides hands-on services directly to persons in need of assistance: victims of crime, the elderly, people involved in motor vehicle crashes, and persons suffering from dire medical conditions. She puts out fires in people’s homes, where all of the residents’ belongings and valuable are housed. The Department services people of diverse cultural backgrounds and ethnicities; Stanley is always there to respond to their calls.
Stanley became a volunteer in October 2001. Since then, she has taken over 400 hours of physically and mentally challenging training. She has also volunteered thousands of hours of her time, mostly due to her participation in our live-in program, where volunteers can live-in the station. The program assures that volunteers are present and ready to respond to emergencies twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. She continues to participate today just as strongly as she has since beginning.
As a result of Stanley’s dedicated volunteerism, the ambulance and fire trucks are always fully staffed with trained and knowledgeable, and experienced personnel. Of course, this is always a team effort, involving all members of the Department, but Jennifer Stanley is a consistent and dependable volunteer who leads and manages others.