Doug McDonald has been volunteering at the Silver Spring Community Fire Company for 42 years with 32 and a half of those years serving as the chief– a position now filled by Doug’s son, Ben McDonald.
Currently serving as the fire company’s president, Doug’s volunteer career began when he was 16-years-old with the Monroe Township Fire Company, as well as with the Monroe Township EMS as an EMT.
“I started doing more and more with the fire company, and one thing led to another, and here I am, 42 years later,” said Doug.
The progressive fire company averages between 700 to 800 emergency calls a year. When Doug initially became a Silver Spring volunteer, his favorite part about volunteering was the thrill and the excitement of responding to emergency calls, but that has since changed.
“It took me five or six years to realize that there really is so much more to the volunteer fire service. As I have moved through the leadership ranks, I started to see the overall big picture and what it takes to succeed. Working together with a team, that is what is essential to me. You have to work towards a common goal, and that is really what I enjoy doing now,” said Doug.
With over four decades of experience in the volunteer fire service, Doug has an intricate knowledge of what it takes to succeed as a volunteer firefighter. He believes that those who are self-starters with a high level of energy and a desire to help others stand the strongest chance of being successful firefighters.
For those who are interested in giving back to the community in other capacities, the Silver Spring Community Fire Company offers a general member role to assist with administrative tasks and programs run by the fire company.
The Silver Spring Community Fire Company is one of 21 fire companies included in the Capital Region Firefighter volunteer recruitment campaign. If you want to serve your community and make a difference, there’s likely a nearby fire company and a position for you based on your interest, skills and availability. All training and gear are provided at no cost.
To learn more about how you can volunteer with your local fire company, visit www.CapitalRegionFirefighter.org.