A fire and rescue system that will preserve volunteer organizations in Prince William County yet provide more centralized control to a countywide chief will take effect this fall, eliminating a system that, for generations, gave volunteers leeway on various operational matters.
"Our current [system] didn't serve us well in an era where a fire and rescue system needed to adapt to rapidly changing conditions," Prince William Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee said. "This proposal allows volunteer chiefs to lead and manage their department . . . while following requirements of the Fire and Rescue Association."
On Tuesday, Prince William supervisors adopted the Fire Prevention and Protection Code, which outlines how the county's fire and rescue system will operate. Volunteer and career fire and rescue personnel spent more than six months reviewing the system, a move that came after supervisors learned the Gainesville District Volunteer Fire Department chief and his family lived in the fire station. McGee said volunteers and career personnel support the proposal.