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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Reassignment of Career Staffing In Riverdale

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department will be reassigning staffing between two neighboring stations. Effective Monday, August 13, four career firefighter/medics that had been assigned to work Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until 3:00 pm at the Riverdale Fire/EMS station will be reassigned to the Riverdale Heights Fire/EMS station. The Riverdale and Riverdale Heights stations are 1.3 miles apart and overall service delivery is not anticipated to be affected in the general area.

The reassignment of the career staff is in-part due to several ongoing conflicts between career and volunteer members, along with several on-going internal investigations at the Riverdale station.

"Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, “I have considered various options to work with the on-going issues and have been in contact with the Riverdale volunteer leadership in an attempt to remedy these matters. I have decided to take this action to ensure we continue to provide the very best in fire and emergency medical services to the greater Riverdale community in a safe and efficient manner.”

The Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department will continue to provide the same level of services as they have been, however, with an all volunteer staff. Bashoor stated, “I believe the higher number of volunteer members at the Riverdale station is capable of providing fire and EMS services around the clock.”

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department is one of the largest and busiest combination, volunteer and career, departments in the Country.  The Riverdale station will now operate with an all-volunteer staff joining Bladensburg, Kentland and Ritchie, all of which do an absolutely tremendous job in providing staffing 24 hours a day.  Both Fire/EMS stations were notified on Friday afternoon of the change.

The Riverdale Heights Fire/EMS station has struggled at times to staff and provide service with an all volunteer staff since August 2009 when career staffing was removed for budgetary reasons. The addition of career personnel to work the weekday shift will allow the volunteers to focus their staffing efforts to evenings and weekends.