|Volunteer Chief's Concerned with Proposed Career 56 hour Work Week|
|By Chief, Tom Wood|
|February 21, 2018|
On February 20, 2018, the County Executive Officer presented a budget which replaces volunteer staffing by "transitioning daytime units to 24-hours" with career staff coverage at a significant cost to the taxpayers. The dedicated volunteers of Prince William County believe it is irresponsible and unnecessary to spend any taxpayer dollars to provide a service the county currently receives for free. More about the proposed budget here http://www.insidenova.com/news/politics/prince_william/prince-william-pitches-increase-in-fire-levy-stewart-wants-data/article_9df9ce64-168f-11e8-a07b-73649bf243d1.html
A previous collaborative agreement and BOCS-approved 5-year staffing plan gradually hired new career fire and rescue personnel to extend services throughout the county to reduce response times while leaving the volunteers in place. This new plan – which would replace all volunteers in FY2020 - and the accompanying increase in cost to taxpayers was developed by the Chief of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue System without consultation with the volunteer Chiefs and Presidents, nor with the Executive Committee or the Budget and Advisory Committee of the PWCFRS, as is required by County Code. It is based upon a study that likewise was conducted without consultation with the volunteers and has yet to be formally issued to the Executive Committee for review.
The fact that a plan was already sufficiently developed to generate a 5-year budget and the manner in which this paradigm shift to the current career-volunteer combination system are indicative of a complete lack of transparency or the collaboration required by the Code for the PWCFRS.
The volunteer Chiefs and Presidents are disappointed that this approach has violated the spirit and the letter of the Code that created a new collaborative model and look forward to discussing this issue and the manner in which this plan was developed with the Board of County Supervisors and with the citizens we faithfully serve.