Changes are coming to the county’s fire and rescue system.
The Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) recently heard about improvements that the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue (PWCDFR) is making.
Acting Chief Tim Keen provided details about the changes, which are part of a “restructuring plan,” according to a release from the county.
Decreasing the amount of time needed to respond to an emergency and raising the pay for personnel are two features of the plan.
“We are the second largest jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and yet we continue to have gaps in service,” Keen told the board. “However, with the leadership of our career and volunteer members, this plan eliminates all gaps in baseline service, allows us to offer substantial enhancements to current levels of service and improves our response times throughout the county.”
PWCDFR intends to schedule employees for 56-hour shifts, as well.
By making sure that staff is available at each station at all times, the department hopes to remove holes in emergency coverage.
“The great thing about this restructuring plan is that the Chief increases the level of service without having to add any additional staff thanks to innovative solutions that assure a robust combined system of career and volunteer personnel,” BOCS Chairman Corey Stewart said.
Keen added that having a “combined” fire and rescue system allows officials to better serve and protect members of the community.
“Our volunteers are professionals, and they are just as committed to this community as our career staff,” Keen said.