Image from Riverdale FD website. See statement below from Riverdale FD.
A pair of Saturday afternoon announcements describes the moving of Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department career firefighters from Station 807, the Riverdale Fire Department, Inc. A release from PGFD sites ongoing conflicts between volunteer and career firefighters and several internal investigations. No details about those conflicts and investigations were provided in the release or a statement from Riverdale FD.
The four career firefighter/medics that were assigned to Station 807, Monday to Friday, 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, will now be assigned to Station 813, Riverdale Heights. Riverdale Heights was in the news Monday about PGFD staffing issues (click here & here). The stations are a little more than a mile apart.
The Riverdale station now joins Kentland, Bladensburg and Ritchie as Prince George’s County’s only all volunteer stations.
This statement from Riverdale FD, Inc. was posted this afternoon on the department’s website:
Starting Monday, August 13, 2012, the career personnel assigned to The Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department, on non-holiday weekdays, from 7 AM – 3 PM, will be temporarily assigned to the Riverdale Heights station located on Roanoke Avenue. The County Fire Chief made this decision in order to facilitate continued dialogue between the County and the volunteer leadership of The Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department to bring resolution to several outstanding personnel issues.
The Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department will continue to provide steady and timely fire and EMS service on weeknights, weekends, and holidays. The Riverdale Heights station is located approximately 1.3 miles away. There should not be any measurable effect on service during the weekday, as the career personnel often respond to incidents from nearby areas every day due to training, life safety inspections, etc.
The Riverdale statement provides a link to the PGFD press release (below).
You will likely note a couple of conflicts between the two statements. Riverdale FD describes the reassignment as temporary. The PGFD statement does not. The PGFD statement says that Riverdale “will continue to provide the same level of services as they have been, however, with an all volunteer staff.” The Riverdale statement does not provide such a commitment during weekdays saying, ”The Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department will continue to provide steady and timely fire and EMS service on weeknights, weekends, and holidays.”
Here is the full PGFD statement:
The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department will be reassigning staffing between two neighboring stations. Effective Monday, August 13, four career firefighter/medics that had been assigned to work Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until 3:00 pm at the Riverdale Fire/EMS station will be reassigned to the Riverdale Heights Fire/EMS station. The Riverdale and Riverdale Heights stations are 1.3 miles apart and overall service delivery is not anticipated to be affected in the general area.
The reassignment of the career staff is in-part due to several ongoing conflicts between career and volunteer members, along with several on-going internal investigations at the Riverdale station.
“Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, “I have considered various options to work with the on-going issues and have been in contact with the Riverdale volunteer leadership in an attempt to remedy these matters. I have decided to take this action to ensure we continue to provide the very best in fire and emergency medical services to the greater Riverdale community in a safe and efficient manner.”
The Riverdale Volunteer Fire Department will continue to provide the same level of services as they have been, however, with an all volunteer staff. Bashoor stated, “I believe the higher number of volunteer members at the Riverdale station is capable of providing fire and EMS services around the clock.”
The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department is one of the largest and busiest combination, volunteer and career, departments in the Country. The Riverdale station will now operate with an all-volunteer staff joining Bladensburg, Kentland and Ritchie, all of which do an absolutely tremendous job in providing staffing 24 hours a day. Both Fire/EMS stations were notified on Friday afternoon of the change.
The Riverdale Heights Fire/EMS station has struggled at times to staff and provide service with an all volunteer staff since August 2009 when career staffing was removed for budgetary reasons. The addition of career personnel to work the weekday shift will allow the volunteers to focus their staffing efforts to evenings and weekends
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Above is a WUSA-TV story from Monday that mentions staffing issues at Riverdale Heights.
Also on STATter911 …
- PGFD career firefighter claims gear was tampered with at Riverdale firehouse. Union president cites hostile work environment behind transfer of firefighters. – August 14, 2012
- Maryland’s PGFD announces staffing reorganization. Career firefighters removed from four fire stations & redeployed. – February 2, 2013
- Latest from PGFD: Bladensburg VFD Firefighters Ethan Sorrell & Kevin O’Toole both in critical condition with burns. – February 25, 2012
- UPDATED – Latest on PGFD injured firefighters: Bladensburg firefighters have a brief visit with each other. Parents meet the press. Interviews with firefighters who were inside home. – February 26, 2012
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