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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fire/EMS Department Efforts to Meet Budget Mandate

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has identified additional strategies to help meet our budget mandate.   Current efforts have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars through overtime reduction, reduction in recruit class sizes and the increased use of Volunteer Staffing Utilization.

It has become clear that these efforts will fall well short of the reductions necessary to come within budget.  The current staffing plan has been evaluated and reassignment of a limited number of career personnel has been identified as an effective fiscal measure to help meet budget reductions and shortfalls while continuing to provide service in an efficient manner.

The staffing plan calls for the reassignment of 12 firefighters.  The 12 firefighters will fill spots currently vacant and will reduce overtime costs.

The 4 career personnel at the Riverdale Heights Fire/EMS Station will be reassigned.  These firefighters work during the day, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 am until 3:00 pm with volunteer firefighters handling services at all other times.  Riverdale Heights will continue to do their best to provide fire and EMS services on a total volunteer basis around the clock.  They will be 10th station to be all-volunteer out of a combined total of 45 fire/EMS stations in Prince George’s County.  This reassignment will not occur until October 4, 2015.

The Bowie – Old Town and Accokeek Fire/EMS Stations will have staffing adjusted by one firefighter per shift (4 shifts).  This reassignment will equate to these two stations losing the ability to have dedicated staffing on the fire apparatus and ambulance.  They are not losing those vital services; only the ability to provide dedicated staffing for each unit, which is safer for personnel to operate and improves response times.  The change in staffing from 5 personnel to 4 per shift will not go into effect until September 20, 2015.

The Fire/EMS Department will continue to respond to all emergency and non-emergency calls and, as always, we will do the very best we can to minimize service impacts.