From Harford County Government:
(Bel Air, MD) – – Harford County Executive David R. Craig has released the Harford County Fire and EMS Services Master Plan. The Fire and EMS Services Master Plan, commonly referred to as the “Fire Study”, was released to the leadership of the Harford County fire service during a briefing on the study Thursday afternoon.
The study was performed by Carroll Buracker & Associates, Inc., a public safety management consulting firm. The study was conducted during 2008-2009 and included detailed interviews, comments or recommendations from more than 500 members of the Harford County fire service. The study was developed through a process of interviews, data collection and analysis, on-site observations, analysis of data, and comparative evaluations with “best business practices” and standards in fire protection and emergency medical services.
The “Fire Study” was conducted at the request of the County Executive and with the consultation of the volunteer fire and EMS service and Harford County Council, to assist Harford County Government in determining the current status of the fire and EMS service in the county, as well as to obtain recommendations for the future delivery of fire and EMS services to the citizens of Harford County.
“Harford County is fortunate to have a strong base of volunteer fire and emergency medical service providers with a long and distinguished history of serving the people of Harford County,” County Executive Craig stated. “The purpose of the ‘Fire Study’ is to ascertain the current state of our fire and EMS service as well as plan appropriately for the future needs of our system as we move forward,” Craig stated.
Harford County is one of the largest political subdivisions in the State of Maryland with an all volunteer fire service.
The “Fire Study” includes a detailed analysis of equipment, training, funding, hazardous materials mitigation, fire protection and fire safety education, 9-1-1 center operations, current and projected fire company response areas, volunteer recruitment and retention, and potential paid fire and EMS staffing for the future.
Additionally, County Executive Craig has acted on one of the many recommendations contained in the study and has created a “Harford County Fire and EMS Commission”. The Commission’s duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to:
• Monitor, support, and facilitate the implementation of the Fire and EMS Services Master Plan;
• Monitor and report on established Measures of Performance within the Plan and implement revisions and/or additions as appropriate;
• Monitor and make recommendations regarding the establishment of a comprehensive county-wide fire and EMS data collection and analysis system;
• Review the financing of the county’s fire and EMS service and make related recommendations;
• Recommend ways in which Harford County can achieve and maintain efficient and equitable fire, rescue, and emergency medical services;
• Review and make recommendations regarding the Master Plan for fire, rescue, and emergency medical services;
• Advise the County Executive on county-wide policies, standards, procedures, plans and programs that should apply to all fire, rescue, and emergency operations; and the County Executive shall advise the County Council regarding same;
• Review and comment on legislation, regulations, and policies that affect the county’s fire, rescue, and emergency medical services;
• Serve as an advocate for the fire and EMS service of Harford County.
“The citizens of Harford County should be proud of the corps of talented, well trained, dedicated, and vigilant volunteers who serve their community in our fire and EMS service,” County Executive Craig stated. “It is not my intention to replace our volunteers, but rather to use the Fire and EMS Services Master Plan as a blueprint to enhance the operation of our fire service delivery for the overall wellbeing of the citizens and business community in Harford County,” Craig stated.
A copy of the Harford County Fire and EMS Services Master Plan can be viewed on-line at www.harfordcountymd.gov.