I'm in Gaithersburg, MD (near D.C.) with a summer fellowship until about August 7th. I'd like to do some ride-alongs or at least station tours of some local departments to see how different departments operate across the nation, to learn what I can, and to meet fellow firefighters.
Is anyone from this area that could help me arrange something? Or any recommendations of departments I should talk to?
In Fairfax if you are involved with EMS you can ride with an EMS supervisor. If you want to learn how we operate, stop by any station and ask. They will be able to assist. We do things professionally and have manuals for every type of incident. Every Northern Virginia department uses these manuals and every department runs incidents the same.
You can stop by any DC fire house if you want. The downtown companies are used to visitors. 16 and 3 Engine see a lot of visitors, but are also two of the busiest houses in the city so it's sometimes hard to catch them. I'm not sure about ride alones though. I'd call the PIO or something to check. I think I've heard of some people doing them, but I never asked how. Let me know if you have any other questions about DC.