Written by Erin Flynn
Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue has proposed a new organizational model that would change the leadership structure of the career and volunteer fire departments.
According to Fire & Rescue Chief Kevin McGee, the proposed model was presented to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, and would involve establishing an “advisory executive committee” to make recommendations for the entire fire and rescue system.
The committees members would include three volunteer chiefs and three chief officers selected by McGee.
“They work toward consensus on issues and policy matters, and advise me of their recommendations and then a decision would be reached once I made a final decision,” McGee said.
A budget and finance advisory committee would also be created, if the plan was approved. The budget and finance committee would provide suggestions to the executive committee, which would then pass on its recommendation to McGee.
“In many cases, such as with the budget, I would use that advice to develop a proposal to submit to the county executive,” McGee said.
The plan also offers executive committee members a chance to oppose any decision the chief makes.
“There’s an appeals process that a member of the executive committee can take if they feel that I have made an error in my decision making,” McGee said.
If the board approves the model, the Fire and Rescue Department’s Fire and Rescue Association would be disbanded. The association, which is made up of fire and rescue staff and volunteers, helps develop procedures and advises the Board of County Supervisors.
Officials began working on the proposed plan about 18 months ago, and considered fire and rescue models used across the state.
“We ultimately focused a lot of our attention on Loudoun County’s governance model, and then we customized it to Prince William County needs based on the criteria we established,” McGee said.
Community members can comment on the model at a public hearing scheduled for August 1. The board will take action on the plan after the hearing.
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