Fire and Rescue Systems Chief

Prince William County, VA | Full-time

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The Position

Prince William County is seeking a Fire and Rescue Systems Chief to serve as the head of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue System, who will continue the legacy of exceptional services, and lead the system through continued high growth. The next Prince William County Fire and Rescue System (PWCFRS) Chief will lead the second largest combination system in Virginia and work with a Fire and Rescue System Executive Committee comprised of both career and volunteers' leadership. The combination system managed by the Fire and Rescue System Chief includes 722 full-time employees and 391 operational volunteer personnel. This position reports to the Deputy County Executive of Public Safety and works closely with the County Executive. The position is vacant after the recent retirement of the Fire and Rescue System Chief, who served 40 years in the Department, and three (3) years as the System Chief.

The System Chief is responsible for Fire, Emergency Medical Services, and Emergency Management Services. The System Chief is responsible for directing the operations and managing the administrative functions of Prince William County’s combined Fire and Rescue System and overseeing the management of the Department, such as emergency incident operations; leading emergency preparedness and overseeing the emergency operations center; fire and injury/illness prevention program delivery; training and education programs for the preparedness of department personnel; and administrative support including payroll, purchasing, and routine personnel functions.

The position is also responsible for developing goals, objectives, and policies and procedures for the system. The Chief will also prepare the operating budget for the system and maintains pertinent records. Some other responsibilities include initiating training programs and directing the instruction of department personnel in methods of firefighting, emergency activities, and the proper use of equipment. The Board of Supervisors passed an initial ordinance in November 2022 which was the first step toward collective bargaining in Prince William County.

This position has the following direct reports: Deputy Chief, Assistant Chief of Community Safety, Assistant Chief of Systems Support, Assistant Chief of Operations, Operational Medical Director, and Battalion Chief Executive Officer.

Priorities

  • Develop trust and build strong working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including within county government, volunteers, and community members.
  • Establish effective, ongoing internal communication methods to improve the accuracy and timeliness of information throughout the system.
  • Spend time in stations across the system to hear what is working and not working from the front-line and station-level viewpoint. Assess the System’s operations and focus on providing quality, consistent, and timely fire and emergency medical services to the community.
  • Assess current employee recruitment and retention efforts and results. Review staffing, schedule, and future equipment and facility needs identified in the CIP, and priorities included in the strategic plan.
  • Develop the annual budget and ensure prudent use of County resources.

The Successful Candidate

The ideal candidate will appreciate and understand the value of a combined career and volunteer staffed system and demonstrate the ability to successfully manage and lead within this unique environment. The next Chief will have excellent employee relations skills and be approachable, build trust, be a clear communicator, and work proactively to address issues within the system. The Chief should model integrity, a strong work ethic, and ensure fair and equitable treatment of all employees within the Department and within the system.

The successful candidate will be a strong visionary for the system while understanding its culture and history, but also be able to take it to the next level with a fresh perspective and an open mind. The next Fire and Rescue System Chief will be an agent of change and make confident, effective decisions for the betterment of the system and what the county residents and businesses need in the future. The Chief will have the ability to be firm and fair in decision-making.

The ideal candidate will be a team player who is collaborative and supportive in serving as a member of the County’s leadership team and instrumental in influencing and supporting the culture of the organization. The Chief will lead with emotional intelligence, build trust between the varied interests of the career and volunteer component, bring more diversity and inclusion to the Department, and address organizational issues that get in the way of a high-performing combination system.

The successful candidate is an established leader and highly knowledgeable in the field of fire safety and EMS, who demonstrates an understanding of combination systems, fire budget, fire suppression, EMS, complex incident management, disaster preparedness, fire prevention and education programs, hazardous materials response, volunteer recruitment and retention, and collective bargaining.

Qualifications

Minimum requirements include any combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in fire, emergency medical services, public administration, or a public safety-related field, with twelve (12) years of directly related experience. Experience must include at least two (2) years of incident command-level experience managing multiple station operations within a fire and rescue department.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree, assistant or deputy chief experience in a combination fire and rescue organization, and a demonstrated record of success in the following key areas: overseeing complex projects and/or operations; overseeing administrative operations of a department; utilizing data-driven problem-solving, working effectively with elected officials, coaching and mentoring managers and key staff, and working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders. Experience with collective bargaining experience is also preferred.

Residency: Prince William County Personnel Policy requires the selected candidate to reside in Prince William County within the first year following the appointment.

Prince William County Government

Prince William County operates under the “Traditional Form” of county government, within the framework of the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the County Executive form of government. The eight-member Board of County Supervisors makes policy for the administration of the Prince William County government. Seven members are elected from Magisterial Districts, while the Chair is elected at large. The Board adopts local laws, sets policies, adopts a budget and capital improvement program, sets local tax rates, approves local land use decisions, and makes appointments to various positions.

Prince William County Fire and Rescue System

The Prince William County Fire and Rescue System (PWCFRS) is the second-largest combination system in Virginia. The PWCFRS is comprised of career and volunteer members who are referred to as FRS members. The PWCFRS provides educational, prevention, and emergency services to Prince William County and its surrounding jurisdictions.

The PWCFRS is comprised of eight volunteer agencies, each with a president and chief, and one career agency with the career fire chief serving as the Chief of the Fire and Rescue System. Collectively, all nine agencies work together to staff 22 fire and rescue stations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, the PWCFRS responded to 49,944 incidents that included 9,368 fire incidents, 40,489 EMS incidents, and 87 Haz Mat incidents. There are currently 722 career uniform and non-uniform full-time staff and 391 operational volunteers within the System. The FY 2023 operating budget for the department is $198.2 million. For more information about the chapter of the County Code that governs the Fire and Rescue System, review Chapter 9.2.

The following are part of the current strategic plan, which was adopted in 2021, is updated annually, and will expire in 2026.

Mission:

To protect and support our community through education, prevention, and emergency response.

Vision:

The Prince William County Fire and Rescue System is comprised of dedicated volunteer and career members who strive to provide exceptional services through the pursuit of inclusion, innovation, and involvement.

Values:

Integrity – We will always demonstrate the utmost honesty by upholding our principles at all times and being accountable for our actions.

Excellence – We will surpass the standard to achieve the absolute best in all that we do.

Pride – We will share an identity that fosters a culture of inclusion, confidence, honor, and respect.

The Community

Prince William County is a diverse, flourishing community that prides itself on its high-quality public schools, strong business environment, and ample parkland and outdoor recreation opportunities. Low crime rates, premier medical facilities, and excellent nightlife offerings make Prince William County an ideal home for families, young professionals, retirees, and anyone in between. Located on the Potomac River approximately 36 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, the County enjoys countless cultural and historical amenities found only in the D.C. Metro Area.

The natural environment and outdoor recreation are essential to the County’s exceptional quality of life. With over 50 parks, including two National Parks, several aquatic facilities, sports complexes, golf courses, and more than 50 miles of trails, greenways, and water trails, there is no shortage of outdoor fun to be had in Prince William County. Prince William Forest Park is one of the two National Parks located in the County and is also the largest protected natural area in the entire D.C. Metro Area. Each year, dozens of recreation programs and activities are provided by the County’s Parks and Recreation Department, including various organized sports leagues and programs for children and seniors.

From concerts featuring some of the biggest names in the music industry at Jiffy Lube Live to historic Civil War events at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William County has something for everyone. Prince William County’s own Dale City Farmers Market is one of the largest open-air markets in the region and is open year-round. Charming antique shops, art galleries, and boutiques line Prince William’s downtown districts. Virginia’s largest outlet mall is located in Woodbridge, offering more than 220 retail stores and dozens of restaurants.

Prince William County Public Schools is the second-largest school district in the Commonwealth and one of its most diverse. The County’s location in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area places it in close proximity to a variety of higher education institutions, including Georgetown University, George Washington University, George Mason University, and Howard University.

Prince William County Public Schools, Prince William County Government, the U.S. Department of Defense, Walmart, and Sentara Healthcare/Potomac Hospital Corporation are among the largest employers in the County.

Washington Dulles International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Manassas Regional Airport are all located in close proximity to the County. Both lines of the Virginia Railway Express provide service to Prince William County, with stations in Bristow, Woodbridge, Rippon, and Quantico. Public bussing is provided for the community by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

Quick Facts

  • Population (2021): 484,472
  • Median Household Income (2020): $107,707
  • Median Home Value (2021): $408,900
  • Median Age: 35.4

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Compensation and Benefits

The expected hiring range is $128,649.00 – $215,714.60, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package. Learn more about our options and employee-based benefits here.

Benefits offered include the following:

  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Retirement benefits through the Virginia Retirement System (VRS)
  • Holiday, personal, sick, and annual leave
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Flexible Spending Account Program
  • Retiree Health Insurance and Credit Program
  • Eligibility to join the PWC Employees’ Credit Union

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis at raftelis.hire.trakstar.com. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. The position will be open until filled with the first review of applications beginning February 6, 2023.

Questions

Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at ctuckparrish@raftelis.com and Alexa Worrell at aworrell@raftelis.com.

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