They’re brave, they’re strong, they’re heroic. They are also at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. And—no kidding—they’re being auctioned off at the debut “Date with a Firefighter” fundraiser on July 12. Twelve of Vienna’s firefighting finest volunteered to serve as fundraising fodder for the fire department. They’re all EMTs, some of whom also have firefighter credentials. They are men, they are women. And they’re all really good sports.
It’s not actually a traditional “date,” lest anyone be tempted to empty out their 401Ks. It’s a group date, like an intimate party, scheduled for the formal ball—called the “Fire Ball”—the following weekend, July 20.
“The idea, initially, made people [firefighters and EMTs] hesitant, but when they realized it wasn’t a real date, but actually a group dinner, we got a lot more interest and support from them,” said VVFD President Anthony Stancampiano.
Here’s the deal: Beginning at 6 p.m. in the Flame Room of the VVFD station house, the EMTs participating in the auction mingle and socialize with potential bidders. It’s really a meet-and-greet.
Local radio personalities are the auctioneers and at 7 p.m., the live auction begins.
Each of the 12 EMTs takes a turn onstage individually while the auctioneer gives background on the EMT. Then, the bidding, which starts at $40, begins.
Silent auction rewards include a week’s time-share, jewelry, wine and dance lessons certificates and a bounty of other prizes. There’s even a plethora of raffle prizes.
Winning bidders will be the guests of the EMTS/firefighters of their bids at the July 20 Fire Ball. Firefighters and their guests are welcomed at a private dinner and tour of the fire department. The gala opens to the public at 7 p.m.
Fairfax County provides the county’s 12 “volunteer” fire department three daily shifts of six “career” [as in paid] professional EMTs and firefighters. Within fire departments that are exclusively county-supported, the county pays for staff, equipment and station. Volunteer stations supplement the career staff. While there is always one engine and one medical unit on-site, volunteers augment the staffing. VVFD is made up of 18 career professionals and 110 volunteers. John Morrison is volunteer station chief.
All the equipment at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department is owned by the volunteer association, as is the fire house itself and the land it sits on. VVFD took delivery of a $650,000 fire truck in 2013 and in 2012, the department bought a canteen for use in the county.
Fundraising, from Sunday night Bingo to extra-special events, make that status possible.
“It saves Fairfax County taxpayers millions of dollar,” Stancampiano said. “And it gives us the pride of having our name on the side of the trucks and the pride of giving back to the community.”
There is no charge for admission to the firefighter auction. Complimentary appetizers are to be served and a cash bar is available. A silent auction and raffle prizes supplement the “firefighter auction.”
The semi-formal gala on July 20 costs $20 advance purchase and $30 at the door. Each ticket entitles holder to two drinks and appetizers. A cash bar is available.
Visit the Fire Ball’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FireBallVVFD?ref=ts&fref=ts.
The “Win a Date with a Firefighter” auction is on July 12, beginning with a social hour at 6 p.m. Bidding opens at 7 p.m.
The “Fire Ball” is scheduled for July 20th, 7 p.m. The public is invited.
For more information or to buy tickets, go to VVFD.org.