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Beware of Organizations Soliciting for Money, Volunteers
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By Susie Nicol
August 3, 2018

Residents are being targeted by people claiming to represent local fire departments.

Some solicitors have asked for donations while others say they are recruiting volunteers.

A Walkersville resident received a letter saying he was selected as someone who may want to volunteer for one of the local fire departments.

“…Right now many fire departments across the nation are facing a real crisis because fewer and fewer people are volunteering which is why we are conducting this national effort to recruit new volunteers…” the letter from Volunteer Firefighter Alliance read.

It also suggested that if the person couldn’t volunteer, they should consider donating to the organization to continue the national recruitment effort. It doesn't say any money will go to local departments.

Volunteer Firefighter Alliance’s website lists its home office as Tennessee.

“This is a scam. The Walkersville Vol. Fire Co. is not sending letters asking for volunteers or money,” said John Zimmerman, president. “They are not working for us.”

Zimmerman said he never heard of the organization until he was contacted by a resident who received the letter. “We want to get the word out that it’s not us.”

Another solicitor is calling residents asking for funds to assist the families of responders injured or killed in the line of duty.

The caller advises he is collecting on behalf of Heroes United, a non-profit organization, which is sanctioned by the “Maryland State Firefighters Association.”

After hearing about the incidents, officials with the Maryland State Firemen’s Association issued a statement saying it does not sanction this organization or any other to conduct any telephone solicitations in its name.

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