Anne Arundel County Fire Department expands career staffing at volunteer fire stations to enhance emergency services

May 16, 2024

Increased career staffing at three Anne Arundel volunteer fire stations

As reported by the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, three volunteer fire stations in Anne Arundel County will now be staffed 24/7, 365 days a year with career firefighters and paramedics.

This initiative is a collaboration between the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, Anne Arundel County Volunteer Leadership, and IAFF Local 1563.

The enhanced staffing has already been implemented at Earleigh Heights Volunteer Company – Station 12 in Severna Park, upgraded in January, and Odenton Volunteer Fire Company – Station 28, upgraded in April.

The Arundel Volunteer Fire Department – Station 7 in Davidsonville is set to receive the same upgrade at the beginning of next month.

Previously, these stations relied on volunteer firefighters to meet the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) minimum staffing standards.

With the increased career staffing, each station will ensure that a large piece of fire apparatus and a medical unit are staffed around the clock.

Additionally, volunteer firefighters will still be available to double the resources, reinforcing the county’s commitment to rapid and effective emergency response.

Community and administrative collaboration

The staffing upgrades highlight a collaborative effort between the volunteer leadership and the Anne Arundel County Fire Department administration.

This collaboration, supported by the County Executive and County Council, aims to provide the highest standard of emergency care to residents.

Fire Chief Trisha Wolford stated: “The roots of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department are rich in volunteer history formed around service and a commitment to the community.

“This tradition of service and community has not waivered, and we continue to elevate the services offered in Anne Arundel County.”

Joe Addivinola, President of Local 1563, expressed satisfaction with the development: “We are pleased to see this outcome of enhanced citizen safety.

All county citizens deserve guaranteed fire and medic services—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”

Reactions from volunteer fire companies

Volunteer Chief Dave Crawford of the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company shared his views on the upgraded staffing at Station 12: “I believe in delivering the best emergency services to the residents of the Severna Park, Pasadena, and Millersville area.

“The combination of professional career and volunteer firefighters is just another positive step in the long tradition of responding to our citizen’s emergencies in their time of distress.”

Similarly, Volunteer Chief Chuck Tucker of the Odenton Volunteer Fire Company commented: “The Odenton Volunteer Fire Company is excited to move forward with the integration of additional career staffing at Station 28 and [to] continue our strong operational partnership with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department to provide combined career/volunteer emergency services to our community.”

Commitment to emergency services

The Anne Arundel County Fire Department aims to provide communities with the highest level of emergency services through a comprehensive approach.

The collaboration of career and volunteer firefighters ensures the safety and well-being of all residents and visitors in Anne Arundel County.

This expansion of career staffing at volunteer fire stations is part of a broader mission to enhance emergency response capabilities and maintain a high standard of public safety.

FSJA Comment

The decision by the Anne Arundel County Fire Department to enhance staffing at volunteer fire stations with career firefighters and paramedics is a strategic move aimed at improving emergency response times and capabilities.

By ensuring 24/7 staffing at three key stations, the department is addressing the critical need for consistent and reliable emergency services across the county.

This initiative also underscores the importance of collaboration between career and volunteer firefighters, leveraging the strengths of both groups to better serve the community.

The proactive involvement of local government and fire department leadership in this process highlights a commitment to public safety and community welfare.

Moving forward, this model of integrated staffing could serve as a template for other regions looking to optimize their emergency response systems.

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