The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a new ordinance to restructure the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Service. The new structure includes a system chief, an executive committee, and a budget advisory and financial planning committee.
The Board's decision came after the Fire and Rescue Reform Steering Committee – comprised of the County Executive, the Department of Fire and Rescue (DFR) Chief, the DFR Deputy Chief, a DFR Assistant Chief, and chiefs from the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton (OWL), Yorkshire and Dale City volunteer fire and rescue companies – unanimously recommended this model as the best alternative to provide service and assistance to county residents.
The system chief will report to the County Executive while taking and considering advice from the executive committee. The executive committee will include three volunteer chiefs, elected by all of the volunteer chiefs from across the county, the operational medical director, the DFR deputy chief and two DFR assistant chiefs. The executive committee will act in an advisory capacity to the system chief with regard to policies, strategic planning, finances, audits, training requirements, discipline and other duties assigned by the system chief. Its purpose is not to be involved with the day-to-day operations of the volunteer companies unless there is a direct conflict with the system's mission, goals and objectives.
The Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee will be created by the executive committee in cooperation with the system chief to provide advice and counsel on operating and capital needs of the fire system. The budget and finance committee will review financial documents, including funding sources and reserve balances, in order to provide advice and counsel to the executive committee and the system chief on the financial health of the fire and rescue system. The input from the committee will be incorporated into the county's annual budget and planning process, as directed by the County Executive and Prince William County Office of Management and Budget.
Now that the board has adopted the new ordinance, operations will switch immediately to the new system. Services to Prince William County residents will continue without interruption.
The volunteer chiefs will meet in the coming days to elect their three representatives to the executive committee. The DFR chief will appoint three career staff to the executive committee. The seventh representative is the operational medical director. A chair and a vice chair will be elected from among those seven committee members.
To see the presentation the steering committee gave to the Board of County Supervisors on July 11, visit www.youtube.com/princewilliamcounty