Fri07252014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

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King George County Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services continues to improve

- Public, volunteer, and staff safety is the top priority -

King George Department of Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services continues to improve the services that it provides to the citizens and businesses of King George County.  The Department is implementing recommended best practices and procedures, based upon the Report of Findings and Recommendations: King George County Fire & EMS Study, conducted by the Virginia Fire Services Board and issued in November 2011, to provide for the public safety, and the safety of its volunteers and staff.  

The combined paid and volunteer leadership teams have been working diligently to ensure that all active volunteers have the appropriate training and up-to-date certifications necessary to provide emergency services, as was recommended by the Virginia Fire Services Board study. (See “Requirements of Volunteer Membership”, Report of Findings and Recommendations: King George Fire & EMS Study, November 2011, pages 13-14.)  The study involved paid and volunteer staff of the Department, the public, and King George County officers and staff.     

As fire and rescue equipment has become exponentially more expensive and sophisticated over the years, it has become increasingly more important that all active volunteers remain current with training and certifications and engaged with the Department.  The Department’s Standard Operating Procedures (“SOPs”), promulgated in 2008, provide that volunteers must complete a minimum of three duty shifts or eighteen (18) hours of service per month and complete all required training to qualify for active status.  Life member volunteers must run a minimum of one call per month and complete all required training to qualify for active status.  

Department SOPs were reviewed as part of the King George Fire & EMS study.  The study and its recommendations were ultimately endorsed by the Board of Supervisors and volunteer leadership, including King George Fire & Rescue President Valerie Myers and Volunteer Chief Robert Black.  Department SOPs have been proactively and consistently communicated to all volunteers.  Volunteer Chief Robert Black stated, “It is vital to have an accurate accounting of our active membership to continue to ensure an effective and efficient delivery of services to the citizens of King George County.”

Fire & Rescue Chief David Moody pointed out, "not only do these policies and procedures ensure that our citizens are protected, they also play a major role in ensuring the safety and welfare of our paid and volunteer personnel.  The fire equipment and rescue squads that are in use today are technically complex and require a large investment on the part of our citizens.  It's important that all who operate this equipment are well trained and operationally proficient."
 
Dale Sisson, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and the Board of Supervisors' Liaison to King George County Fire & Rescue operations, believes this is a move in the right direction, noting, "It's great to see the Chief, his staff, and the Volunteer leadership all on the same page relative to this matter.   Whether paid or volunteer, all of our personnel are extremely professional and committed to serving the citizens of King George County.   We greatly appreciate all of the volunteers who serve in King George and want to make sure that all who want to serve have an avenue to do so.   I applaud our volunteer leadership team for ensuring that service standards are clearly defined and met." 

These standards are requirements for active service as a volunteer with King George County Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services.  This policy does not modify the status of individual members of the volunteer King George Fire & Rescue, Inc., which is an independent affiliate of King George County Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services.  Life members of the Association may choose to remain on the rolls, but may not be in a position to devote the time required to remain active.  All volunteers, no matter their status, are commended and appreciated for their contributions to the County and the public safety and welfare.   

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