PS COMMITTEE
#4
January 26,2012
Worksession 2
MEMORANDUM
TO:
FROM:
*
Public Safety Committee
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Essie McGuire, Senior Legislative
Analy~\J.,~
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SUBJECT:
Worksession
2: Bill 30-11,
Fire and Emergency Services Commission­
Duties
Bill 30-11, Fire and Emergency Services Commission - Duties, sponsored by
Councilmembers EIrich and Leventhal, was introduced on September 27, 2011. The Council
held a public hearing on the bill on October 18, and the Public Safety Committee held its first
work session on this Bill on December 8.
Bill 30-11 would repeal the authority of the Fire and Emergency Services Commission to
approve or disapprove certain Fire and Rescue Service policies and regulations. This Bill does
not affect the Commission's role to advise the Fire Chief, County Executive, and Council under
County Code §21-2(d)(I) and (3).
The Office of Management and Budget does not expect this Bill to have a fiscal impact
(see fiscal impact statement on ©9).
PuBLIC HEARING TESTIMONY
Five speakers testified at the October 18 public hearing (see testimony, ©10-22). Chief
Bowers supported the bill, as did Assistant Chief Scott Graham, representing the County Career
Officers Association. Three speakers opposed the Bill: Marcine Goodloe, President of the
County Volunteer Fire Rescue Association (MCVFRA); Eric Bernard, President of the Rockville
Volunteer Fire Department; and Darian Unger.
At the hearing, Committee Chair Andrews directed Council staff to review the policies
that Ms. Goodloe's testimony listed as approved by the Commission and provide additional
historical context. Ms. Goodloe's testimony identified 42 policies or other actions that the
Commission has approved under a range of different organizational structures.
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George Giebel, Fire and Rescue Service staff to the FESC, gave Council staff a list of
MCFRS policies and procedures with each one's date of approval and which Commission body
had approved them (all are listed on ©23-32). From this list, Council staff noted that:
• The Fire and Emergency Services Commission in its current organizational form
approved 6 policies or procedures. Four are classified as Administrative, 2 as
Operational.
• The Fire and Rescue Commission approved 17 policies between the 2005 reorganization
that created the Fire Chief and the 2009 restructuring that created the FESC in its current
form. Of these, 4 are classified as Administrative and 13 are classified as Operational.
At the hearing, Councilmember EIrich asked Chief Bowers to identify cases in which he
or his predecessor experienced obstacles to implementing necessary policies, procedures, or
other actions as a result of the Commission's review authority. Chief Bowers' response (see
©33) identified four primary actions which he can discuss in further detail at this worksession.
One of the examples is the support vehicle policy which the Public Safety Committee has
discussed twice last year, once jointly with the Transportation and Environment Committee.
Two other examples, the Code of Ethics and the Medical Standards for MCFRS Candidates,
illustrate the difficulty for the Fire Chief under the current review structure to directly implement
operational matters according to his professional judgment and expertise.
FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES COMMISSION TESTIMONY
l
Members of the Commission did not testify at the public hearing on this Bill. At the
Committee's invitation, Commission Vice Chair Chris Zervas participated in the December 8
Committee worksession. Copies of testimony representing the individual views of
Mr.
Zervas,
Commission Chair Anita Powell, and Commissioner Ron Ogens, the third public member, were
submitted at the worksession and are attached on circles 34-39.
BACKGROUNDIISSUES
At this juncture, the central question this Bill poses is: What is the appropriate role of
the Fire and Emergency Services Commission relative to the MCFRS organizational
structure and the authority of the Fire Chief!
History As the County's Fire and Rescue Service underwent significant reorganizations
and other changes in recent years, the Commission's makeup and authority also evolved. The
Commission dates back to June 30, 1980, when it was formed, under the first major fire
reorganization law, to take over the policy-making duties of the Fire Board. The Fire Board was
then composed of the chiefs of and 2 delegates from each local fire and rescue department. The
Fire Board originally appointed most of the Commission members.
Because the County Attorney concluded that this appointment process violated the
Executive appointment requirement in County Charter §215 and a Charter amendment to allow
I
Bill
36-03, enacted May 4,2004, effective January 1, 2005.
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an alternative method of appointment was defeated in 1986, the law was amended in 1987 to let
the Executive appoint all members, although the Fire Board still nominated some members. The
more significant amendment to the County fire service law, also enacted in 1987, converted paid
local fire and rescue department firefighters into County employees under the then-Department
of Fire and Rescue Services; this was the County's response to the federal court's
Conway
decision which confirmed that paid firefighters were entitled to overtime compensation under
federal law .
The Commission retained its lead policy-making role in the next major fire service
reorganization, which among other organizational changes created the Fire Administrator
position, effective July 1, 1998. This law established the Commission's current makeup of 2
volunteers, 2 career firefighters, and 3 unaffiliated "public" members, as the then-Executive
proposed. The Council rejected citizen suggestions that the Commission be composed entirely,
or have a majority of, citizens unaffiliated with the fire service. The 1998 law also authorized
the Commission to hear and decide appeals from actions of the Fire Administrator, including
orders issued by the Fire Administrator to the local fire and rescue departments.
The 1998 reorganization reflected the proposal of a Joint Fire/Rescue Service Review
Task Force consisting of representatives from the volunteer and career sectors, the Commission,
and the then-Department of Fire and Rescue Services. The Group was convened after the 1996
rejection of a Charter amendment, ballot question E, which would have established a centralized
fire and rescue service under the direction of a fire chief appointed by the Executive, with the
Commission serving in an advisory capacity.
The 2004 reorganization, effective January 1, 2005, curtailed the Commission's policy­
making role, leaving it only the authority to disapprove regulations and polices proposed by the
Fire Chief. The latter provision was a central element of the legislative compromise which
enabled the Bill's enactment. This law limited the Commission's quasi-judicial role to certain
appeals of personnel actions involving volunteers. The 2004 law also abolished the Fire Board
and in its place instituted the County's authority to collectively bargain certain issues with a
representative of the local fire and rescue departments.
In 2009 the law replaced the Fire and Rescue Commission with the Fire and Emergency
Services Commission, in part to repeal the compensation previously paid to Commissioners.
The 2009 law, effective August 1,2009, also repealed the remainder of the Commission's quasi­
judicial personnel review authority, transferring it to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
County Charter
§215 of the County Charter provides:
The County Executive after receiving the advice of the Chief Administrative Officer,
shall appoint a
single officer
to head each department, principal office or agency of the
Executive Branch, ...subject to the confirmation of the CounciL
(emphasis added)
Consistent with the Charter, County Code §21-3(b) provides that the Fire Chief is "the
uniformed department head of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, and has all
powers of a department director."
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The authority of the FESC to disapprove policies and regulations proposed by the Fire
Chief at least appears to conflict with the spirit of the Charter requirement that each County
department must have a single officer as head. The Commission's current review authority over
Fire and Rescue Service regulations and policies gives the Commission some degree of direction
over the Service. This potential conflict in department direction between multiple parties is one
outcome the Charter provision intended to avoid. However, the Charter is not always strictly
interpreted, and the current arrangement passed legal review by both the County Attorney and
Council attorneys when it was enacted in Bill 36-03, as had the Commission's more extensive
policy-making authority under the 1998 reorganization and previously.
Other County Commissions
County boards, committees, and commissions fall generally into one of 4 categories:
adjudicatory (quasi-judicial), licensing, administrative, and advisory. In its current fonn, the
FESC exercises hybrid administrative and advisory functions. Its primary functions are to advise
the Fire Chief, Executive, and Council on budget, legislative, policy, and procedures related to
the full range of Fire and Rescue Service issues. The Commission's quasi-judicial role was
eliminated in the last restructuring in 2009. Its sole administrative function is the authority to
disapprove policies and regulations proposed by the Fire Chief.
Other County boards that have significant policy approval or program administration
responsibilities govern entities separately established outside of County government, frequently
but not always under state law, such as the Revenue Authority, Housing Opportunities
Commission, or Bethesda Urban Partnership. As far as we are aware, no other board or
commission that advises County departments has a comparable level of authority relative to the
department head. Removing the policy disapproval authority from this Commission would more
closely align its functions with those of other advisory boards.
Prince George's County comparison
Legislation pending in Prince George's County would change the role and composition of
its Fire Commission. The Prince George's County Fire Commission currently has very broad
authority over fire and emergency services, including their budget. The pending legislation
would make the Commission more advisory in nature and unify the fiscal and administrative
processes under the Fire Chief. Prince George's County also has a Fire Chief's Community
Advisory Council which is comprised of members of the public.
Financial Disclosure implications
Currently FESC members are required to file a confidential financial disclosure statement
under the County Ethics law, County Code §19A-17(b)(4). This requirement is consistent with
fonner iterations of the Commission, when Commissioners received stipends and the
Commission had more budgetary and policy authority. Unpaid members of advisory boards,
committees, and commissions are generally not required to submit financial disclosure
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statements. If the Council enacts this Bill, it may want to also confonn the financial disclosure
requirement at the next opportunity; doing so would be beyond the scope of this Bill.
Commission membership
The Commission consists of 7 voting members: 2 County career fire/rescue personnel; 2
volunteer local fire and rescue department personnel; and 3 members with no personal, family, or
business connection with the County career or volunteer fire rescue service. This level of voting
representation from direct service employees and volunteer personnel is unusual for an advisory
board, and for most boards and commissions with other roles.
If the Commission becomes an advisory body, should its membership be revised? This
issue goes beyond the scope of this Bill, which as introduced amends only the Commission's
duties.
If
revised, Commission membership could be organized to provide more geographic
(such as regions of the County) or functional (such as hospital or other emergency service
provider) representation and focus less on career/volunteer status.
FOLLOW-UP INFORMATION
At the December 8 worksession, Committee members requested the following additional
infonnation:
1)
a summary of the relationship between the collective bargaining processes for
both career and volunteer personnel and the representative organizations' roles on
the Commission; and
2)
an analysis of whether the Commission's duty to approve and disapprove policies
should be limited to certain topic areas rather than abolished entirely.
Collective bargaining processes
Under the County collective bargaining law that applies to the career firefighters
bargaining unit (see County Code §§33-l47 - 33-157), the County and the employee
representative (lAFF Local 1664) must bargain over certain required subjects of bargaining,
which are listed in County Code §33-152(a)(1)-(7). These include salary and wages, employee
benefits, hours and working conditions, grievance procedures, employee health and safety, and
amelioration of the effect on employees when employer action causes a loss of jobs. The law
also specifies in §33-l52(b)(1 )-(19) the "employer rights" that are not subject to bargaining.
A clause in the IAFF collective bargaining agreement (§22.2) also requires the employer
to give the union notice and an opportunity to comment before the employer implements changes
in various policies and procedures. This clause also requires the employer to "make all
reasonable efforts" to meet and confer with the union on these changes.
Under the County collective bargaining law that applies to the local fire and rescue
departments (County Code §21-6), the County and the LFRD representative (MCVFRA) must
bargain over certain required subjects of bargaining, which are listed in County Code §2l­
6(f)(1 )-(8). These include volunteers' participation in Fire and Rescue Service decisions and
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committees, recruitment, selection and discipline, and certain other issues that apply only to
volunteers. The law also specifies in §21-6(g)(1 )-(3) the issues that are not subject to bargaining,
including budgets and expenditures, Fire and Rescue Service emergency and routine operations,
and any other issue not specified as subject to bargaining.
The MCVFRA collective bargaining agreement (Article 20) also contains a similar
"notice and opportunity to comment" provision which applies ot changes in policies and
procedures "relating to or affecting" volunteers.
The law that creates the Commission (County Code §21-2(a)(I) allocates 2 Commission
members to each category of participants (career employees and volunteer personnel).
Policy topic areas
The Committee requested that the Fire Chief and the Commission consider whether the
Commission's authority should be narrowed to apply only to or exclude certain policy areas,
procedures, or SUbjects.
The Commission provided comments, attached on circles 40-42. The Commission
supports retaining its current authority to approve and disapprove all policies, procedures, and
regulations as outlined in the law.
It
recommended that its responsibility to assist with the Fire
Chiefs budget submission be removed. The Commission notes=d that it would still be able to
provide comments as necessary during the budget process.
The Fire Chief's response is attached on circle 43. Chief Bowers concluded that he does
not find any policy area over which· the Commission should have approval and disapproval
authority, and supports the Commission continuing in a solely advisory role.
Council staff reviewed the policies and procedures approved by the Commission and
considered the types of issues that would go before the Commission under current law. (A list of
approved policies currently in place is attached on circles 23-32.) Council staff divided the
policies into the 4 areas listed below. We considered what policy topic areas should be reserved
for the Chief to directly apply his operational and management authority, and whether any policy
topic areas were suitable for disapproval by the Commission.
• Personnel/subject to collective bargaining Policies governing personnel matters
(career or volunteer) are either the responsibility of management to determine or subject
to collective bargaining. In either case, Council staff does not recommend having an
additional approval step by a body that includes affected employees. Examples include:
Apparel Policy; Criminal Background Check Policy; Disciplinary Action Procedures; and
Procedures for MCFRS Personnel Investigations.
• Operations Council staff suggests that policies governing operational issues are the
responsibility of the Fire Chief and should not require an additional approval. The
Commission's current authority to disapprove operational policies appears to conflict
with County Code §21-3, which provides that "the Chief has full authority over all fire,
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rescue, and emergency services in the County". Examples include: Disaster Plan; Driver
Certification Procedure; EMS Operations Manual; Fire Scene Preservation and Fatal Fire
Investigation; Incident Command System; Specialty Teams Policy; and Standard
Operating Procedure for Safe Structure Firefighter Operations.
• Regulation
Currently, if the Fire Chief intends to propose a regulation for transmittal by
the County Executive to the County Council for review and approval (depending on the
method) he must first submit the proposed regulation to the Commission. If the
Commission then disapproves the regulation, it cannot move through the rest of the
process. This effectively leaves the Executive and Council unable to determine whether
the regulation should be considered, amended, or approved. Many policies are required
by Chapter 21 to be adopted through Council approved regulations, which Council staff
suggests should not rely on Commission approval for amendment or consideration.
Examples include: Code of Ethics/On Duty Personal Conduct; Drug Screening
Procedure; Integrated Emergency Command Structure; Medical Standards for
Operational Members and Candidates for the MCFRS; and Safety While on Apparatus.
• Administration
Administrative issues largely fall under the Fire Chiefs responsibility
to manage the internal operations of his department, and can involve allocation of County
funds or require coordination with other County policies and practices. Examples
include: Acquisition of Fire Rescue Vehicles; Computer Connectivity Requirements;
Records Management System; and Standardized Log Book System.
Under Bill 30-11 the Commission would still review and provide advice and
comment to the Fire Chief, the County Executive, and the County Council, on all of the
listed policy issue areas.
It
would continue to serve as an important voice in its ability to raise
any issues or concerns for review by the Executive or Council and to provide constructive
alternatives for consideration as necessary.
OPTIONS
A Council staff memo, written while the 2004 reorganization was being considered, listed
the following options for the then-Fire and Rescue Commission:
What should be the role, if any, of the Fire and Rescue Commission? Options include:
1) full policy-making role on all Fire and Rescue Service issues (quasi-legislative);
2) limited policy-making role on specific issues designated in law;
3) appeal body on specific operating issues (e.g. long-term transfer of LFRD
apparatus);
4) appeal body on specific personnel matters (quasi-judicial);
5) advisory body that monitors Fire and Rescue Service policy and performance, and
provides feedback (similar to Solid Waste Advisory Commission, Commission on
Health);
6) no advisory Commission (similar to Police Department).
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In 2004 the Council opted for a combination of options #2, #4, and #5. The 2009 law
that established the current Fire and Emergency Services Commission also repealed the
Commission's quasi-judicial role (2004 option #4).
With this Bill, the legislative choices seem to boil down to:
• Leave the Commission's current structure and authority unchanged.
• Repeal the Commission's authority to disapprove Fire and Rescue Service policies
and regulations (enact Bill 30-11 as introduced). This would retain the Commission's
full range of advisory responsibilities and align the Commission with other advisory
boards and the Charter.
• Limit the Commission's disapproval authority to those policies and regulations that
are appropriate for Commission decision-making. As discussed in the preceding
section of this memo, neither of the parties (Fire Chief or Commission) recommended
any version of this middle-ground approach.
• Abolish the Commission and leave the resolution of Fire and Rescue Service issues
entirely to collective bargaining with the career employees (IAFF) and the local fire
and rescue departments (MCVFRA). This option is probably beyond the scope of
Bill 30-11 as advertised.
Council staff recommendation: enact Bill 30-11 as introduced.
This packet contains:
Bi1130-11
Legislative Request Report
Fiscal impact statement
Hearing testimony
MCFRS policies and date of approval
MCFRS response
Individual Testimony from FESC members
FESC follow-up information
Fire Chief follow-up information
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Bill No.
30-11
Concerning: Fire
and
Emergency
Services Commission - Duties
Revised:
7/20/2011
Draft No. _1_
Introduced:
September 27, 2011
Expires: _ _
=:..=..:...=.:-....=.=...:...:..._ __
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
-"-'-~'--
_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Council members EIrich and Leventhal
AN
ACT to:
(1)
(2)
repeal the authority of the Fire and Emergency Services Commission to approve or
disapprove certain Fire and Rescue Service policies and regulations; and
generally amend the duties of the Fire and Emergency Services Commission.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 21, Fire and Rescue Services
Sections 21-2,21-8, 21-8A, 21-9,21-10,21-11,21-13,21-16,21-18, 21-19, 21-27
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No. 30-11
1
2
3
4
5
6
Sec.
1.
Sections 21-2, 21-8, 21-8A, 21-9, 21-10, 21-11, 21-13,21-16,21-18,
21-19, and 21-27 are amended as follows:
21-2. Fire and Emergency Services Commission.
*
(d)
(1)
*
*
Duties, responsibilities and authority.
The Commission must recommend how the County can:
(A) achieve and maintain effective, efficient, and equitable
fire, rescue, and emergency medical services County-wide,
and
(B) improve the policy, planning, and regulatory framework
for all fire, rescue and emergency services operations.
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
(2)
The Commission must meet at least monthly, and may meet at
other times at the call of the chair or a majority of its members.
(3)
The Commission, in addition to any other functions assigned by
law or regulation, may:
(A) advise the Fire Chief, County Executive, and County
Council on any matter relating to fire, rescue and
emergency medical services, and review the performance
of the County Fire and Rescue Service and any action
taken or policy adopted by the Service;
(B) advise the Chief, Executive, and Council on County-wide
policies, standards, procedures, plans, and programs that
should apply to all fire, rescue, and emergency services
operations;
(C) review and make recommendations regarding the master
plan for fire, rescue, and emergency medical services as
provided in Section 21-12;
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
0-
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BILL No. 30-11
28
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32
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36
37
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42
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[(4)
(D)
recommend and comment on legislation, regulations, and
policies that apply to or affect the Fire and Rescue Service;
(E)
review and recommend any appropriate changes in
communications and dispatch procedures for emergency
communications centers;
(F)
recommend guidelines for curriculum and programs of the
Public Safety Training Academy and other training
programs for fire and emergency services employees and
volunteers;
(G)
recommend to the Chief, Executive, and Council a benefits
program to provide financial protection for volunteers and
their families if a volunteer becomes injured, disabled, or
dies in the line of duty;
(H)
after consulting the LFRD representative, recommend to
the Chief, Executive, and Council policies and programs to
recruit and retain volunteers; and
(I)
promote coordination with other County-wide, regional,
state, and national emergency management agencies and
activities.
The Commission must review and may approve or disapprove
any generally applicable Fire and Rescue Service policy or
regulation proposed by the Fire Chief, including any regulation
that may be issued by the Executive under this Chapter. Before
taking any action under this paragraph, the Commission must
give the Fire Chief, LFRD representative, employee organization,
and the public a reasonable opportunity to comment.
If the
Commission does not approve or disapprove a proposed policy
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BILL
No.
30-11
55
56
57
58
within 60 days after receiving it from the Chief, the policy is
automatically approved. If the Commission does not approve or
disapprove a proposed regulation within 60 days after receiving it
from the Chief, the regulation is automatically transmitted to the
Executive for review. This paragraph does not apply to:
(A)
any decision expressly assigned to another person or body
by this Chapter; or
(B)
any individual personnel action.]
59
60
61
62
63
*
(a)
*
*
64
65
21-8. Integrated Emergency Command Structure.
The County Executive[, after receiving Commission approval under
Section 21-2(d)(4),] must adopt by regulation an Integrated Emergency
Command Structure (IECS) that is consistent with the National Incident
Management System and applies to all IECS certified providers of fire,
rescue and emergency medical services, on all emergency incidents.
The Chief regularly must review the IECS regulation and propose
amendments as necessary.
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
*
(a)
*
*
73
74
75
21-8A. Standardized Incident Management System.
The County Executive must establish by regulation[, after receiving
Commission approval under Section 21-2(d)(4),] a Standardized
Incident Management System that is:
(1)
based on nationally recognized incident management systems for
fire and rescue operations; and
(2)
compatible with the National Incident Management System.
76
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*
*
*
&
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BILL
No. 30-11
81
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21-9. Disaster plan.
The County Executive, by regulation [issued after receiving Commission
approval under Section 21-2(d)(4)], must establish and maintain a fire and rescue
disaster plan that provides an integrated chain of command. compatible with the
Standardized Incident Management System and the Integrated Emergency Command
Structure.
21-10. Response areas.
83
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95
96
The Fire Chien, after receiving Commission approval under Section 21­
2(d)(4),] must establish response areas served by each fire or rescue station that
collectively cover the entire County. The boundaries of a response area are generally
the mid-points in road distances between that station and the nearest fire or rescue
stations. However, the response area boundaries must consider geographic or other
features that affect dispatch operations.
21-11. Communications procedures and dispatch times.
The Fire Chien, after receiving Commission approval under Section 21­
2(d)(4),] must establish comprehensive and consistent communications and dispatch
procedures that maintain appropriate allowable dispatch times for all fire and rescue
units and promote public safety.
21-13. Temporary transfer of apparatus.
97
98
99
100
The County Executive[, after receiving Commission approval under Section
21-2(d)(4),] must adopt a regulation establishing policies for the long- or short-term
transfer of apparatus. The Fire Chief, when authorized by regulation, may transfer
any apparatus purchased in whole or
in
part with tax funds, including any apparatus
titled to a local fire and rescue department. The Chief must provide as much advance
notice as possible before transferring apparatus. The regulation must not require the
transfer of any apparatus that was not purchased with any County tax funds, except in
an emergency.
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
G)
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BILL No. 30-11
.
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21-16. Personnel administration for local fire and rescue departments.
(a)
Applicability a/County Regulations.
Employees of local fire and rescue
departments who are paid with tax funds are not County employees.
They are members of a separate merit system governed by generally
applicable County personnel regulations except as expressly modified
by regulations that the County Executive[, after receiving Commission
approval under Section 21-2(d)(4),] adopts under method (2).
*
(a)
*
*
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117
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120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
21-18. Training requirements and certification standards.
The County Executive[, after receiving Commission approval under
Section 21-2(d)( 4),] must issue regulations establishing training
requirements for all active fire, rescue, and emergency medical services
personnel in the Fire and Rescue Service, including the local fire and
rescue
departments, consistent with the Integrated Emergency
Command Structure.
*
*
*
21-19. Code of ethics and personal conduct.
The County Executive[, after receiving Commission approval under Section
21-2(d)(4),] must issue regulations establishing a code of ethics and on-duty personal
conduct that is consistent with applicable law, including Chapters 19A and 27. The
code must apply to all fire, rescue, and emergency medical services personnel,
including administrative personnel. The code must specify prohibited conduct and
the procedures and actions available to address any violation. The Fire Chief may
refer a matter to the County Ethics Commission or Human Rights Commission.
21-27. Purchasing and contracting.
®
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BILL NO.
30-11
133
134
135
The Fire Chiefl, after receiving Commission approval under Section 21­
2(d)(4),] must establish procedures, by regulation, that govern any purchase or
contract by any department that will be financed in whole or in part with tax funds.
Approved:
136
137
Valerie Ervin, President, County Council
138
Date
Approved:
139
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
140
Date
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
141
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 30-11
Fire and Emergency Services Commission
-
Duties
DESCRIPTION:
Bill 30-11 would repeal the authority of the Fire and Emergency
Services Commission to approve or disapprove certain Fire and
Rescue Service policies and regulations
The Commission current has veto authority over Fire and Rescue
Service policies and regulations, which has limited the Fire Chiefs
ability to modify current policies.
To abolish the Commission's regulatory function and retain its
advisory functions.
Fire and Rescue Service
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Michael Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney, 240-777-7905
Not applicable
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Not applicable
F:\l.Aw\BILLS\1130 Fire Rescue Commission Duties\Legislative Request Report.
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OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
lsiah Leggett
County Executive
Jennifer
A.
Hughes
Director
MEMORANDUM
October 17,201
t
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Bill 30-11, Fire
and Emergency Services Commission - Duties
The purpose of this memorandum is to transmit a fiscal and economic impact statement
to the Council on the subject legislation.
LEGISLATION SUMMARY
The bill would repeal the authority of the Fire and Emergency Services Commission to
approve or disapprove certain Fire and Rescue Service policies and regulations.
The proposed legislation
is
not expected to have a fiscal or economic impact. The
proposed language will only remove the Fire and Emergency Services Commission's (FESC) power to .
approve or disapprove particular Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service policies/regulations; the
FESC will still continue without any cost change. The budget and expenditures associated with the
commissioners (stipends and expense allowances) and administration (program manager, administrative
specialist, and operating expenses) will all remain the same.
The following contributed to and concurred with this analysis: Dominic Del Pozzo,
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service; Michael Coveyou, Department of Finance; and Blaise
DeFazio, Office of Management and Budget.
Office of the Director
101 Monroe Street,
14th
Floor·
Rockville,
Maryland
20850 • 240-777-2800
www.montgomerycountymd.gov
montgomerycountymd.gov/311
240-773-3556 TTY
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Bill 30-11, Fire and Emergency Services Commission
Public Hearing
October 18, 2011
Testimony of Fire Chief Richie Bowers
Duties
Good afternoon, I am Fire Chief Richie Bowers and I am here to provide
comments regarding Bill 30-11.
Section 21-3 of the County Code states that: "The Fire Chiefhas full authority
over all fire, rescue and emergency medical services in the County, including any fire,
rescue and emergency medical services provided by local fire and rescue departments.
The Fire Chief must implement County law, regulations, and policies to effectively
administer the Fire and Rescue Service". However, the Fire Chiefs ability to effectively
implement applicable laws, regulations and policies is undermined by the authority that is
currently vested in the Fire and Emergency Services Commission (Commission) to
approve or disapprove policies relating to the Fire and Rescue Service.
As Fire Chief, it is my responsibility: 1) to develop policy; 2) to provide Notice
and Opportunity to both Local 1664 and MCVFRA bargaining units; 3) where applicable,
to negotiate policy changes with both bargaining units; and 4) to request that the
Commission approve policy changes.
This Commission's veto authority has prevented me from implementing a number
of important policies that would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Fire and
Rescue Service, including those relating to:
Assignment and Use of Authorized Complement of Support Vehicles (Policy);
Medical Standards for Operational Members and Candidates (Regulation); and
Code of Ethics and On-Duty Personnel Conduct (Regulation)
I would be happy to discuss the particulars of each of these situations in more detail with
Council at the appropriate time.
Section 21-1 (b)(3) of the County Code provides that one goal of the Fire and
Rescue Service is to "continually improve the capabilities of all personnel; effectively
manage personnel; and achieve job performance and personal conduct of the highest
caliber by County, local fire and rescue department, and volunteer personnel". However,
it the situations referenced above, the Commission approval process prevented me from
implementing policies, laws, and regulations that would help achieve these goals in an
efficient and timely manner.
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Bil130-11 would increase my ability as the Fire Chief to manage and lead the Fire
and Rescue Service.
It
would improve the policy implementation process and increase
efficiency and accountability. These improvements and efficiencies would result in
savings of time and money for the residents ofthe County, the Fire and Rescue Service
and County Government.
The Commission has played an important advisory role to the Fire Chief and the
Fire and Rescue Service - and should continue to do so. The Commission's input has
been and will continue to be welcomed and valued by me. In particular, the public
members of the Commission provide advice, perspective and input from the community
that is very important.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on Bill 30-11. I look forward
to working with the Council as it considers this bill.
2
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l
Testimony of Assistant Chief Scott Graham
Montgomery County Career Officers Association
October 18, 2011
Bill 30-11
Good afternoon, I am Assistant Chief Scott Graham. This afternoon I
represent the Montgomery County Career Officer's Association (MCCOA).
The MCCOA is a resource group recognized in Chapter 21 as an Advisory
Group to the Fire
&
Rescue Service, as well as the Fire Chief. Our
organization consists primarily of Chief Officers as well as Captains and
Lieutenants. Since the Captains and Lieutenants are represented by the
IAFF Local 1664, I speak: on behalf of the career Chief Officers.
As an advisory body, we lend our support and encourage you to
support all Advisory Groups by passing Bill 30-11. An analogy of today' s
fire service is much like that of a human body. The law, Chapter 21,
provides for the parts of the fire service body
The IAFF Local 1664 (or
career), the MCVFRA (the volunteers), the Career Officers Association, and
the Fire and Emergency Services Commission. Like the human body, each
of the Advisory Groups serves a vital and unique function to keep the fire
service moving. A functional body has only one head. Ours is the Fire
Chief, designed by law as the single authority for fire and emergency
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services in Montgomery County. Any body with more than one head is
dysfunctional.
Since the re-organization of the fire service in late 2004/early 2005,
the fire service has experienced many positive changes in practices, policies,
and standards. We are far better today than we were 6 years ago. We are no
longer the fire service of 10, 20, or 30 years ago. We should not function as
though we are. Jurisdictions across the nation are routinely designing their
policies based on our success in the past 6 years with a single authoritative
head
a Fire Chief. That's the 90%. By not amending the following
proposed policies of the Fire Chief, we have greatly stagnated the fire
,service with archaic policy not representative of today's all hazard mission.
No code of ethics and on-duty personal conduct - no medical standards for
operational members - no MCFRS support vehicle policy better known as
the assignment and use policy. This is the 10%. Ten percent while during
the development process, all parts of the body functioned. These policies
came before the FESC and were vetoed or inhibited by the same body parts
that created them. Not for the "Optimum Personnel Practice" as defined in
Ch. 21 b(3), but rather for a narrowly focused reason.
In closing, I have the privilege of testifying today as the only person
who has served as the executive officer to both Fire Chiefs. I can testify to
2
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this Council that Chiefs Carr
&
Bowers both have utilized all of their
resource groups provided in Ch. 21. Both have gone far beyond those
groups and reached out to the community, the Community Advisory Boards,
and businesses as part of their decision making process. That is "Optimum
Practices. "
Thank you for supporting Bill 30-11 and bringing MCFRS yet another
great step forward.
3
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Testimony of Marcine Goodloe
President
Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association (MCVFRA)
Testimony to the Montgomery Council on
Bill 30-11 (Fire and Emergency Services Commission)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony on Bill 30-11, "Fire and
Emergency Services Commission -Duties," which would repeal the authority of the Fire
and Emergency Services Commission ("Commission") to approve or disapprove certain
Fire and Rescue Service policies and regulations.
We strongly oppose this bill for three reasons.
First, it would reduce transparency and accountability to the public in the
development of fire and rescue policies and procedures.
Second, the bill conflicts with the pUblic-private partnership model for the Fire
and Rescue Service that has served the County and the public very effectively over the
past decade.
Finally, there has been little or no showing that the current Commission structure
is ineffective, inefficient, or broken. In fact, the record shows that the Commission has
played a valuable role in strengthening the County's fire and rescue system through its
policy review and approval process.
Bill 30-11 Would Reduce Transparencv and Accountability to the Public
The Commission is composed of seven members -- three representing the public,
two representing career personnel, and two representing the volunteer fire/rescue
community. All seven Commission members are appointed by the County Executive
[and approved by the Council]. This structure provides robust and important public
input to decisions impacting the fire and rescue service and enhances public confidence
in the County's Fire and Rescue Service at a time when public confidence in government
generally is declining.
Eliminating the Commission's review and approval authority would, in effect,
consolidate the Executive's power over the fire and rescue service, reduce accountability
and transparency in establishing fire and rescue policy, and enhance the likelihood that
such policy is made for political reasons that have little or nothing to do with advancing
the public's interests.
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Bi1130-11 Is Inconsistent with the County's PublicfPrivate Fire-Rescue Partnership
Montgomery County's Fire and Rescue Service operates under a unique and
highly effective - partnership between the County and the 19 local fire and rescue
departments (LFRDs). While some continue to question this model, we believe strongly
that this partnership has delivered and continues to deliver - extremely high-quality,
cost-effective fire and rescue service to Montgomery County.
A strong, vibrant Commission is essential to this partnership. The Commission's
structure gives the primary stakeholders, including the LFRDs, a key voice in the
County's decision making process. When this Council enacted Bill 36-03, creating the
position of County Fire Chief with substantial authority to lead and manage the entire fire
and rescue service, the Council tempered some of the Chiefs policy making authority by
requiring certain fire and rescue policies and procedures to be reviewed and approved by
the Commission.
The need for a strong County-LFRD partnership has never been greater.
Volunteer fire/rescue personnel risk their lives every day to provide front-line fire, rescue
and emergency medical service to Montgomery County residents and visitors. As we
have recently demonstrated, these volunteers - and the departments in which they serve ­
save County taxpayers more than $25 million every year in personnel, vehicle and
facilities costs alone. Given the unprecedented commitment and contribution of the
volunteers and the LFRDs, it is entirely appropriate to give them a meaningful voice in
the development of County fire and rescue policy.
Eliminating the Commission's policy review and approval role would gut the
partnership, drastically reduce the voices of the public, the career members and the
LFRDs in establishing County fire and rescue policy, and ultimately diminish the quality
of, and public confidence in, the County's fire and rescue service.
The Commission Has Helped to Strengthen the County's Fire and Rescue System
The MCVFRA recognizes the need for County agencies and bodies at all levels to
operate efficiently and effectively. Close scrutiny of the use of taxpayer dollars is
essential, particularly during tight fiscal times.
There is ample evidence demonstrating that the Commission has played a
valuable and constructive role through its review and approval authority and, in doing so,
has strengthened the County's fire and rescue system. Often, the Commission's
deliberations, and the opportunity for input from the public and other stakeholders, has
improved proposals initially put forward by the Fire Chief and fostered "buy in" from
those very same stakeholders. \Vhile paralysis by analysis has been a problem in
Montgomery County, the facts show that the Commission is not a graveyard for good
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ideas but rather an important and effective means of ensuring the County's fire/rescue
service is meeting the needs of County residents.
Over the past several years, the Commission has reviewed and approved dozens of
policies and procedures proposed by the Fire Chief. A partial list of these includes:
MCFRS Communications Manual
Two in - Two out and Structural Fire Response and Updates
Family Support Network
Annual Physicals
Training Standards
Specialty Teams
Non-Emergency Transfer of Apparatus
Helicopter Landing Policy
Upcounty Resource Allocation
&
Station Study
All Master Plans
Water Study and Water Study Implementation
PIMS Data System for Volunteers
Senator Amoss Fund Procedure
&
LFRD Records Update
Length of Service Awards Program
Executive Regulations
&
Legislative Changes
ALS First Responder Policy
EMBERS Reporting System
Background Check Requirement Policy
Command Competence Procedure
Standardized Blackboards, Thermal Imagers and SCBA
Integrated Pass Devices
Motor Vehicle Operator License Requirements for Tiller Operators
Appeal Procedures
IECS
Return to IECS
Code of Ethics and Personal Conduct
Standard Graphics Policy for County Owned Apparatus
Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy
Aerial Apparatus Study
Rescue Squad Policy
Communications Manual
Response Assignments Updates
Disaster Plan
Temporary Transfer of Apparatus
Fire Scene Preservation
Health, Fitness and Welfare Policy - NIEDTOX Study
Various issues regarding Internal Affairs including the IA Officer
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Apparatus Replacement Schedule
PSTA Student Policy
Minimum Training Standards
SOP for Safe Structural Firefighter Operations
Ambulance Fee
While MCVFRA has not always agreed with the outcome of Commission actions,
and in some cases disagreed strongly with the Commission, we believe the Commission's
structure has allowed it to operative effectively in strengthening the fire and rescue
service in Montgomery County.
The Commission Structure Is Not Similar to "Effects Bargaining"
It
is important to note that the Commission's authority is not similar to the effects
bargaining requirement that the Council considered earlier this year.
,
Effects Bargaining
Negotiations not public
F
&ES Commission Process
I
• Transparency
Representation of
Public in Decision
Process
Deadlines for Decisions
None
No deadline on length of
negotiations
Process and deliberations
open to public under County
law
Public is represented by three
"public" Commissioners with
voting power
Commission must act within
60 days of submission of
proposals by Fire Chief
i
While the MCVFRA has not taken a position on the merits of effects bargaining, it
is abundantly clear that few if any of the concerns expressed about effects bargaining are
applicable to the F &ES Commission process. The Commission process is transparent,
provides for a fonnal decision-making role for the public, and operates under strict
deadlines for decisions.
The Debate Over Take Home Vehicles Is No Excuse to Gut the Commission
1
s Authoritv
With respect to policy changes regarding take home vehicles by career and
volunteer personnel, the Commission rightly rejected the Fire Chiefs initial proposal
because it could adversely affect operational perfonnance without corresponding benefits
to the public. Since that time, the parties have worked constructively to address the
issues, and -- as discussed at a recent Council hearing -- it was acknowledged that
1190%11
of the issues have been resolved. We recommend that the Fire Chief move forward
immediately with a proposal that incorporates these important enhancements -- which the
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Commission would surely approve -- and continue working on the remaining issues with
the key stakeholders.
MCVFRA strongly opposes Bill 30-11 and will strongly oppose other efforts to
gut the fire-rescue partnership that is codified in Chapter 21 and has served County
residents very effectively. The current Commission structure provides essential input for
key stakeholders - including the public, career firefighters and the LFRDs that enhance
public confidence in our fire and rescue service. We urge the Council to look for more
effective ways to enhance and strengthen that partnership and not to disenfranchise the
stakeholders, and ultimately the public, in setting fire and rescue policy.
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Testimony of Eric N. Bernard
President
Rockville Volunteer Fire Department
Testimony to the Montgomery Council on
Bill 30-11 (Fire and Emergency Services Commission)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony on Bill 30-11, "Fire and
Emergency Services Commission -Duties," which would repeal the authority of
the Fire and Emergency Services Commission ("Commission") to approve or
disapprove certain Fire and Rescue Service policies and regulations.
We strongly oppose this bill, along with all 19 volunteer 'fire and rescue
departments in the County. There are many reasons why this lJili should be
defeated.
The most important is that the Commission works and works well. For
over 24 years the Commission has brought all stakeholders together to better the
fire service in the County.
The Commission hears from the community and takes citizen's input in
making important decisions. This input improves public safety and increases
participation from the community, citizen's groups as well as those brave women
and men who serve.
The Commission is the best model to reflect the public-private partnership
in the Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service. The law has long recognized,
indeed required the combination career-volunteer fire and rescue service delivery
model. The Commission reflects the law by having members from the public, the
career members and the volunteer members. These members work together in
reviewing policy and adding great knowledge, experience and input in all aspects
of emergency service.
Since a bill was introduced almost 3 years ago to try to eliminate the
Commission, which ultimately failed, all parties have worked hard to improve the
fire and rescue service. This Bill will reduce the effectiveness of the Commission
and remove true citizen input into the process.
Montgomery County is not alone in having a Fire and Rescue Commission.
In the neighboring Counties the Commissions have greater authority, autonomy
and input than ours in Montgomery County. In Prince George's County, which
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has a similar combination volunteer-career fire and rescue service, the
Commission allocates the budget, hears all appeals in disciplinary matters, and is
composed of only volunteers from the 36 volunteer departments in the County.
Our Commission once had similar budgetary responsibilities but these were
removed in 2003 when the single fire chief was created. So we see that a strong
Fire and Rescue Commission, with responsibilities, authority, and decision
making ability is the norm and is a system that works well not just here in
Montgomery County.
The Commission has attracted some great minds from the service and the
community bringing experience that would otherwise not be available to the fire
and rescue service. We have physicians, attorneys, community organizers,
school teachers, police officers, men and women, younger and older members all
with equal voice and authority to help our fire service improve. Their counsel has
proven invaluable to the fire service. Sometimes the mere ability to make a
decision dissuades other parties from becoming confrontational and gives them
clearer thinking in what is best for all involved.
The volunteer representatives meet with the Fire Chief at least weekly and
talk daily. We have all worked well together and the Fire Chief and volunteers
have resolved more than 95% of issues that have arisen including new policy
formulation, prior to being presented to the Commission. Then we go together to
the Commission recommending approval. The reason we can do this so
effectively is the knowledge that the Commission exists and has the ability
approve or reject policy. This keeps the process inclusive giving voice to"the
community and all stakeholders.
We ask for your support in defeating bill 30-11. Allow the fire service to
continue to operate as the law was written and modified in 2003 when the single
Fire Chief was created. This model serves all involved well and requires
maximum community involvement and very little if no cost to the taxpayers of the
County.
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)6
Testimony of Darian Unger, 8204 Cedar St. Silver Spring MD, 20910
Opposing the bill to gut the fire and emergency services commission.
Thank you very much. My name is Darian Unger, I live at 8204 Cedar Street in Silver
Spring.
I'm a member of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board and a volunteer
firefighter are EMT; while I am one of many who feel the way I do, (most of whom
can't come in the middle of a workday) I'm here to speak for myself and to urge you
to avoid gutting the fire and emergency services commission.
There are two main reasons to turn down this harmful idea. First, the commission is
an important check and balance on power. Second, because this proposed law fixes
nothing the fire/rescue service, and would instead make things worse.
First, checks and balance on power are fundamentally American notions. That is
why we have civilian commanders in chiefs and separate branches of government.
That is why we have both district and at·large representatives on council. We don't
like our power too concentrated, lest it be used against us with no recourse. The
commission is an important check on a very powerful position ...the fire chief. I like
and respect our fire chief. I also like my president, even though I've been
disappointed a few times. But just because we like them doesn't make it good
governance to give them unfettered power. Actual checks and balances are a vital
part of thoughtful governance.
Second, this proposed legislation seems to be searching very hard for a problem to
solve. Issuing orders does not seem at all difficult. As a firefighter and EMT, I am
used to following orders as part of any emergency response - whether it's a chiefs
general order to use this protocol instead of that protocol when administering CPR,
or an order to use a certain method to attack a fire - I can assure you, there is no
shortage of orders. The chief rightfully issues many with no problem whatsoever,
and I follow them, comfortable with the idea that important orders are vetted and
checked so that new rules and policies will help save lives. There's little reason to
undo a functioning system.
Speaking of undoing functioning systems, this seems to be one of a string of
nominally well-intentioned proposals that backfire badly and leaves a bad taste in
everyone's mouth. You know you're on the wrong track when the curfew proposal
drags Montgomery County through the mud with scare stories instead of actually
reducing crime with proven strategies, or when the proposal to open Veteran's
Plaza to markets end up destroying the Fenton St. Market instead.
This proposal is similar .. .it's not a good idea, and it's not going to accomplish what
you want. I would urge that the fire/rescue service be strengthened instead.
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:e
MONTGOMERY COUNTY FIRE
&
RESCUE SERVICE
OFFICE OF THE FIRE CHIEF
POLICY
&
PROCEDURES
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INDEX
NO.
-------
I
I
TITLE
I
ADMINISTRATIVEI
I
OPERATIONS
Administrati ve
DATE
I
I
i
i
2009 FESC By-Laws
03-08AM Acguisition of Fire Rescue Vehicles
I
I
I
I
I
i
t
08/13/2009
FESC
approved
Administrative
07/15/2007
1
FRC
I
approved
I
I
I
.
i
04-03
Administration of LOSAP Program
!
I
Administrative
09/05/01
I
07-02
I
!
I
jFRC
approved
Apparatus Maintenance Policy
I
Operations
03/20/2005
FRC
approved
10/13/2009
1
FESC
I
approved
I
;
I
I
i
i
25-0SAM
I
i
!
i
I
Awaratus Staffing Policy
Operations
I
Apparel Policy
06-09
I
I
I
i
Awarel Policy Memo
Administrative
07/20/2009
I
i
I
I
I
:
I
28-01
I
Assignment & Use of
FIR
Supt. Vehicles
I
Operations
I
.
I
07/01196
I
approved
!
I
iFRC
73-91
I
Basic Quality Assurance Program For
IEMT-A's
I
Operations
04/09/91
I
iFRC
approved
FRC
approved
I
24-05
I
Cave-In Team Resl10nses
Operations
Operations
04/12/90
110113/20091
!
r
36-08AM Certification Standards for Training,
EX12erience, and Credentialing
Reguirements
I
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Appendix A-I - MCFRS Certification
Standards for Training, Experience, and
Credentialing Requirements.­
F irefighterlRescuers
Appendix A-2 - MCFRS Certification
Standards for Training, Experience, and
Credentialing Requirements- EMS
Provider Personnel
Appendix B - MCFRS Emergency
Services Provider Certification Form
Appendix C - Non-Jurisdictional Course
Equivalency Application
Appendix D - Experience andlor Service
Time Equivalency Application
Cross Reference
- Fire Chief General Order #07 -15
- Certified Chief Officer
Reguirements: Command
Competency Knowledge and
Laboratory Practical Command
Exercise Evaluations
Chapter 21- County Code
Click
Chapter 21.
I
01-01
Administrative
09/2010
i
I
I
I
I
I
!
22-
Code of Ethics/On-Duty Personal
OOAM Conduct
Adminis
t
rat
1
ve
FRC
o
7
109
120021
I
approved
i
!
I
I
I
23-05AM Command Officer Prof. Dev Policy
Communications Manual Policy
22-03AM
Operations
I
05/0112002
I
FRC
I
approved
I
Communications Manual
Operations
May 20,
2006
07/09/04
iFRC
Approved
FRC
approved
01-09
,
Computer Connectivitv Reguirements
- Interim Policy
Administrati ve
Appendix
A.
MCGOV Internet.
!
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Intranet, and Electronic Mail
Policy
Am~endix
B. MCGOV Com12uter
Security Policy
Appendix C. LFRD Computer
Connection Request Form
A1212endix D. MCGOV Account
Request Form
A1212endix E. DTS Information
Technology Products Vendors
&
Contract Form
A1212endix F. Standard
Deskto12/La12to12 Configurations
&
Order Form (11103)
Cross Reference
- Fire Rescue Directive #06-01
- Connection of LFRD Owned
Printers and C012iers
to County Network Com12uters
06-05
Conditions and Restrictions On
Volunteering By DFRS
FireFighters/Rescuers In The MCFRS
Controlled Medication
&
Security
Procedures
Comoration Legal EX12ense Policy
Corporation Personnel Regs.
(Reprint w/amendments)
Administrati ve
FRC
07/22/03
i
approved
I
I
I
!
21-05
Operations
03/1 0/2005 FRC
approved
IFRC
04/15/94
I
I
approved
I
03-06
Administrati ve
06-01
I
I
Sections 1-10
Sections 11-31
Administrati ve
02/20/97
FRC
approved
06­
04AMII
27-01
Criminal Background Check/Vol.
A1212/Em12
Disaster Plan
Disci12linary Action Procedures for LFRD
Probationary
Administrati ve
03/25/10
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
Operations
03/31/98
06-06
Administrative
09/1 0/2007 FRC
approved
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I
Members and Employees
I
21-02D
23­
07AMII
D.O.A. Response Policy
Driver Certification Procedure
Operations
Operations
11/04/94
iFRC
I
approved
!
i
03/01120071
FRC
I
approved
Driver Training Application
EMS Unit Certification Checklist
Brush Truck Certification
Checklist
Engine Certification Checklist
Tanker Certification Checklist
Rescue Sguad Certification
Checklist
Truck - Tower Certification
Checklist
Trailer Truck Certification
Checklist
I
I
I
I
!
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
23-03
Drug Screening ProcedureN
01.
Am~'ts
Operations
05/09/91
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
21-01
Duty EMS Officer Response
Operations
05113182
28-02
21-02
Emergency Incident Personnel Rehab'n
EMS Oper. Manual
&
Append.
(7/97
reprint)
Operations
Operations
02/01/95
08115194
EMS
EMS
EMS
EMS
EMS
EMS
EMS
EMS
Ops
Ops
Ops
Ops
Ops
Ops
Ops
Ops
Manual- Pages 1-23
Manual- Pages 24-35
Manual Almendix A
Manual Appendix B
Manual Appendix C
Manual Appendix D
Manual Appendix E
Manual Appendix
Cross Reference
-
FIre Rescue DIrective #04
-
03
- Accountable Drug Log and Use
@
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ofSSN
25-08
Emerg. ResQonse for CO Detector
Activ'ns
Operations
06/01/96
FRC
approved
IFESC
I
approved
FRC
approved
,FRC
i
I
approved
I
04-04
I
I
Family
SUllI10rt
Network
Administrative
11117/09
25-02
I
Fire Scene Preservation/Fatal Fires Invest.
I
i
Operations
08/28/01
24-03
First ResQonse/Trench CollaQse Incident
Incident Command System
Attachment Post Incident Analysis
Operations
04112/90
I
20-02
!
I
Operations
Operations
03119/02
I
FRC
approved
16-05AM Integrated Emergency Command
Structure
12/06/2005\
FRC
I
approved
I
Cross Reference
- Fire Chief General Order #07-02
- LFRD Certified Chief Officers
Radio Designations
I
I
,
I
I
i
I
Interfacility TransQorts Guidelines
21-03
Inter-Facility TransQort AQQroval
Checklist
Inter-Facility TransQort
Authorization
Operations
03110/2005
FRC
approved
03-05AM LFRD FinancelAccounting Manual
Live FF'ing Evols. in Acguired Structures
26-05
Administrative
04/08104
FRC
approved
,
Attachment NFP A 1403
Operations
02/15/98
FRC
approved
I
I
I
!
03-03
I
LocallNon-Local Travel Guidelines
Administrative
i
03/23/92
FRC
approved
!
I
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26-01
Loss Control Program
Operations
08/02/82
FRC
approved
23-08
I
MCFRTA Student Reguirements
:
I
!
I
Operations
01120103
I
IFRC
approved
23-09
I
MCFRTA Registration Procedure
Media Relations for MCFRS
Medical Standards for OQerational
Members
&
Candidates of the MCFRS
Operations
01120103
I
approved
FRC
approved
I
FRC
I
I
I
I
07-01
01-05
Administrative
Operations
06/10104
06/21/2005
FRC
approved
Cross Reference
- Fire Rescue Directive #06-07
- Annual Process for Volunteer
Fire
&
Rescue Service Provider
Physicals
Cross Reference
- Fire Chief General Order #05-15
- Annual Physicals for Volunteer
Service Providers
METRO Incident SOPs
24­
06AMII
Cross Reference
- Fire Rescue Directive #00-17
- METRO Tunnel Communication
Changes
Operations
01/20/03
FRC
approved
06-08
Montgomery Countv Fire Corns
Administrative
09115/08
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
I
l
25-07
Natural Gas Incident ResQonse
Non-Emergency Reassignm't of
Apparatus
!
Operations
I
04/01196
25-04
Operations
11114/00
I
I
I
01-04
Office Automation Security Policv
I
:
I
Administrative
07/01/98
@
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Pager Criteria Policy
22-02
Cross Reference
- Fire Rescue Directive #03-10
- Minitor IV Pagers
Operations
07112/90
FRC
approved
26-04
I
PersonnellUnit Accountability
I
I
Operations
01/01/98
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
26-02
I
Personnel Hair Safety/Grooming Stds.
I
Operations
02113/92
I
Procedures For Reguests From State Of
Maryland
03-07AM
Sen. William H. Amoss Fire, Rescue,
And Ambulance Fund
06-06
Procedures for MCFRS Personnel
Investigations
Purchase/Contract/Fixed Asset Mgmt
Radio Procurement and Management
Procedure
Reassignment of LOSAP Program Resp.
I
!
Administrative
05/01/2006
i
FRC
I
approved
[
I
I
i
I
I
!
Administrati ve
IFRC
i
approved
i
I
03-01
Administrative
FRC
04/29/97
I
approved
I
!
I
I
22-04
Operations
12110120071
FRC
approved
OS/23/01
04-02
Administrative
I
02-01
Records Management System (RMS)
I
FRC
I
approved
I
i
Administrative
11115/2004 FRC
approved
(RMS) Contingency Plan
Cross Reference
- Fire Chief General Order #05-17
- (RMS2 Compliance - Phase 2
Cross Reference
- Fire Chief General Order #05-05
- Record Management System
(RMS)
I
23-02
Reguirements for EMS Membership
Operations
12113/94
FRC
approved
I
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J
26-06AM Resniratory Protection Policv
Operations
\4/15/2005 FRC
I
I
approved
09/08/94 jFRC
I
approved
J
I
25-01
I
Re"non«e
Areas
Operations
21-04AM
Resnonse Policy for ALS 1st Resnonding
Annaratus
Return to IECS from Extended Absence
I
Operations
05/01104
I
I
approved
FRC
I
06-07
,
Operations
09/20/08 IFRC
approved
I
26-03
I
Safety While on Annaratus
Operations
;FRC
OS/23/91
I
approved
I
I
i
25-03
Soecialtv Teams Policy
Operations
Administrati ve
03/01/00
FRC
approved
,
01-07AM Standardized Identification
&
Safetv
Granhics Scheme for County-Owned Fire
and Rescue Service Annaratus
12/0112006
FRC
approved
41
I
Appendix A - Community
Designations bv Station Areas
Appendix B COG Unit and
Radio Designations List
Appendix C Page 1- Granhics
Examnle: Engine and Rescue
Squads
Appendix C Page 2- Graphics
Example: Engine and Rescue
Squads
Appendix C Page 3- Granhics
Examnle: Engine and Rescue
Squads
Appendix C Page 4- Graphics
Examnle: Engine and Rescue
Squads
Appendix D Page 1- Graphics
Examnle: Truck and Aerial
Towers
Appendix D Page 2- Granhics
Examnle: Truck and Aerial
Towers
Appendix D Page 3- Graphics
Example: Truck and Aerial
j
i
I
I
 PDF to HTML - Convert PDF files to HTML files
I
Towers
Appendix D Page 4- Graphics
Example: Truck and Aerial
Towers
Appendix E Page
Graphics
Example: EMS Units
Appendix E Page 2- Graphics
Example: EMS Units
Appendix E Page
Graphics
Example: EMS Units
Appendix E Page 4- Graphics
Example: EMS Units
I
I
I
01-05
Standardized Log Book Policy
i
Administrative
07/01/99
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
I
I
24-08
SO P for Helicopter Landings
SOP for Safe Structure FF Operations
I
I
Operations
04/15/00
i
Amended SOP with FCGOs
24­
07AMII
Note: This document has the new
FCGO language included in the
regulation for the convenience and
edification of the new operating
procedures in the Safe Structural
FF policy.
Substance Abuse and Rehab
26-08
Operations
12/0112005
FRC
approved
Attachment - Substance Abuse
Ap12endices
,
Operations
I
Operations
0112712009
FRC.
approved
Using
&
Wearing Of Traffic Safetv Vests
26-07AM During Emergency Incidents On
Arterials, Highways
&
Streets
06/0112005 FRC
approved
I
i
I
24-04
Vehicle Accident Response
Operations
04/01195
I
approved
FRC
I
I
23-04
I
Vol. Membership Category: EMS
iMember
Operations
12/08/94
FRC
japproved
@
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I
03-04
03-02
I
Vol. Recruitment Cash Award Program
I
Administrative
11130/89
FRC
approved
FRC
approved
I
I
04-01
I
Volunteer Standby Food Program
I
Workers' Com:gensation Claims
1
Administrative
01112/89
Administrative
02/28/91
I
FRC
approved
i
@
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MCFRS Policies NOT Approved by FRC & FESC
Federal, State, and Private Grant Applications, FCGO No.08-06
On May 19,2008, The Fire Chief issued Fire Chiefs General Order No. 08-06, Federal,
State, and Private Grant Applications. The Chief requested the Fire and Rescue
Commission to approve this order.
Code of Ethics and On-Duty Personal Conduct, Executive Regulation (amend)
The Fire Chief introduced a draft regulation, Code of Ethics and On-Duty Personal
Conduct to the Fire and Rescue Commission on April 2008. The proposal was authored
by MCFRS staff and Associate County Attorney Bernadette Lamson. The intent of the
amended regulation was to align the policy in compliance with current law. The draft
document was sent to Notice and Opportunity as required in the Collective Bargaining
Agreement.
Medical Standards for Operational Members and Candidates of MCFRS (amend)
In 2008, the Fire Chief requested the MCFRS Division Chief of Wellness, Safety and
Training to amend the Medical Standards of Operational Members and Candidates,
Regulation to align the policy to the current NFPA Standards 1582. The Fire Chief met
with the MCVFRA representatives to discuss the changes that MCFRS staffhad
proposed.
Assignment and Use of Authorized Complement
of
MCFRS
Support Vehicles
(amend)
At the request of the County Council Public Safety Committee, the Fire Chief was
requested to update the Assignment and Use of Fire/Rescue Support Vehicle Policy that
was adopted by the Fire and Rescue Commission in luly, 1996. MCFRS staff worked
with Associate County Attorney Richard Melnick to incorporate changes that the Chief
has proposed to the Vehicle Assignment Policy.
@
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Testimony of Anita Powell, Chair
Montgomery County Fire and Emergency Services
Bill
30-11,
Fire and Emergency Services Commission - Duties
Thursday, December
8, 2011
Today, I appear before you as the Chair of the Montgomery County Fire and
Emergency Services Commission to provide testimony strongly opposing
Bill
30-11,
"Fire and Emergency Services Commission - Duties," which
would remove the authority of the commission to approve or disapprove
certain policies and regulations presented to the commission by the Fire
Chief.
It
will also change the duties and responsibilities for which the commission
was established; as well as allow for the commission to serve exclusively as
an advisor to the Fire Chief.
Montgomery County Fire and Emergency Commission created by Bill
38­
08,
on August
1,
2009,
provides an opportunity for the commission to exist
as a public-private partnership with 3 public members,
2
career fire/rescue
personnel and
2
volunteer local fire and rescue department personnel. As
part of the partnership and during its monthly meetings, the commission
has had opportunities to receive reports from the Montgomery County
Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and it does shows that they work
very closely with the Fire Chief.
To place this commission in an advisory role to the Fire Chief will destroy a
true combination system that is viable and is recognized as a full
public/private partnership between the public, career and volunteer
merubers. Advising the Fire Chief will not carry forth the same weight,
provide checks and balances, or even allow for clarification when and if
needed on the Fire Chiefs General Orders. A true partnership in a
combination system working together is valuable to our fire service and
county residents because of our participation.
The voting record of the commission included in the Montgomery County
Fire and Rescue Service, Office of the Fire Chief, Policy and Procedures,
pages
23-33,
for today's Worksession on Bill
30-11,
proves that we have
continually acted in a timely, productive and responsible manner.
In fact, this record shows that we approved almost
98%
of the policies
presented to the commission, with the exception of the "Assignment and
Use of Fire/Rescue Support Vehicle Policy" where the Fire Chief was asked
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to clarify language that was in the policy of which he agreed to do. This
example demonstrates that we are working with the Fire Chief and his
Department and not standing in his way to prevent him from managing and
leading the Fire and Rescue Service.
I wish I can present you with a detailed analysis of the commission's voting
record, but I cannot... I cannot do it because in response to my request to
staff to develop a summary of the Fire Chiefs General Orders presented to
the commission, I received an e-mail from staff stating that he could not
provide the summary in the timeframe requested because of his work load.
I received a response from Fire Chief also upon request of the same
information, he said that the request was "extremely labor intensive" (as in
e-mail) and could not be completed in said time.
With the staff work load and extreme labor needed to produce such record I
was very surprise when I saw it in your package. However, this exchange
proves one more time what essential service our commission provides to
the public and to the services of county residents. The fact that that such a
simple request made to staff last week to produce a summary and hereby
appears today, I could have included an analysis of the same information to
you as part of my testimony. Again, this shows that we need to continue to
work with the Fire Chief and his staff to insure that the public is involved in
the decisions vital to the citizens of Montgomery County.
Because we were not provided with this document ahead of time, and did
not have time to analyze the voting record of all policies, we ask you to
postpone your vote on Bill
30-11
until we have had time to review what has
been presented to you and submit our comments at a later date.
Thank you.
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Written Testimony of
Ron Ogens, Commissioner
Montgomery County Fire and Emergency Services
Bill 30-11, Fire and Emergency Services Commission - Duties
Thursday, December 8, 2011
In approximately 1980, when the first Fire and Rescue Commission was created, the
impetus for its birth was that it served to meet the needs created by special
circumstances, in particular, that fire, rescue, and emergency medical services in
Montgomery County were delivered through a combination system of professionally
trained career and volunteer firefighters and emergency service providers. The seven
member commission consisted of two volunteer representatives, two career
representatives, and three public members. The commission served in many ways as a
buffer between the needs and wants of the component parts of the fire and rescue
service, and also served as a control on the interplay primarily between these
components.
Since its creation, the various commissions which followed the original Fire and Rescue
Commission, the power to be the ultimate arbiter has remained fixed as a core principle,
proposed and approved by many County Executives and Councils, all of whom saw the
wisdom of retaining a commission to have oversight over the Montgomery County Fire
and Rescue Service, subject to ultimate decision by the Executive and Council. There
has been no material change in that need, nor in any circumstances that warrant a
change.
While some may believe that certain actions taken by a majority of the commission with
respect to corporation vehicles were unfortunate and may have been perceived as an
attempt to serve special interests which are not consistent with the budget and policy
constraints which are now in existence, the Executive and ultimately the Council retain
authority over this and any other issue through the budget process.
I note that some have questioned why a commission would have the power that the
FESC currently has, when other commissions do not. Without looking into each board
or commission's powers and duties, I reiterate that the FESC and its predecessor
commissions were created, continued, and maintained to meet special facts and
circumstances which continue to exist.
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Personal Testimony of Chris
J.
Zervas, Vice Chairman
Fire
&
Emergency Services Commission
Bill
30-11 -
Fire
&
Emergency Services Commission: Duties
December
8, 2011
Work Session [Revised - December
28, 2011]
Chairman Andrews and Council Members Berliner and EIrich, my name is Chris Zervas, the
Vice Chairman of the Fire
&
Emergency Services Commission (FESC). I have been asked by
the Commission's Chairperson, Ms. Anita Powell, to appear before you, in her stead, to address
matters concerning proposed Bill
30-11,
and to present/submit to you her personal statement.
I would also like to outline for you my perspective on proposed Bill
30-11
which, if enacted,
would undo and likely eliminate forevermore, the consent component of Bill
38-08
which
went into effect on August
1, 2009,
and will leave to the Commission only the function of
advisement. Bill
38-08
reads, in relevant part:
"The FESC recommends and comments on
legislation, regulations, and policies that apply to or affect the Fire and Rescue Service; and
must review and may approve or disapprove any generally applicable Fire and Rescue policy
or regulation proposed by the Fire Chief, including any regulation that may be issued by the
County Executive."
The Commission's composition -two career fire service members, two volunteer fire service
members and three public members, was established, in large part, to help ensure that these
important stakeholders have an active voice in important Montgomery County Fire and Rescue
Service (FRS) matters/decisions.
During the past couple of FESC meetings,
all
sitting Commissioners participated in discussions
regarding Bill
30-11.
There emerged, in its November meeting, a clear consensus which was
followed by a 'straw vote', that the Commission should retain their approval/disapproval
authority. All three public members and the two volunteer representatives voted to maintain
the FESC's present authority. The Commissioner representing IAFF Local 1664 mentioned
that, as yet, the union had not taken a specific stand on the issue, but they were leaning toward
supporting the retention of the existing authority. The Commissioner representing the FRS'
Chief Officers clearly stated that the FESC should be only an
advisory
body and not be able to
veto any of the Fire Chiefs initiatives.
The Commission's members attempted to recall past actions with regard to sanctioning or not
sanctioning submitted proposals. To the best of our collective knowledge, only one of the Fire
Chiefs General Orders, out of all the many other proposed FCGOs submitted to it, received the
Commission's disapproval. All other FCGOs received its approval and, for the most part, full
support. Thus, in my opinion, the Commission's role and actions have been anything but
obstructionistic. In the one single instance in which an FCGO was disapproved, mine was the
swing vote. The purpose of the disapproval was not intended to kill the proposal but rather to
encourage its reworking so that it would better reflect and address all stakeholders' interests
and perspectives. I found ninety-plus percent of this FCGO agreeable and long-needed, and
saw the one or two aspects objected to could be quickly pursued in a different manner or at a
later date.
®
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Although I felt that the Commission was somewhat surprised that Chief Bowers took the strong
position he did on the above matter, the Commission, I believe, did not wish to level criticism
at his decision to seek unfettered authority. Indeed, the Commission's members have all
expressed that they hold Chief Bowers in very high regard, both personally and professionally,
and feel the County has been most fortunate to have a person of his, and his predecessor, Tom
Carr's caliber and character as the leaders of the County's Fire & Rescue Service. The position
in no way reflected a desire to restrict or limit this particular Chiefs decision-making authority.
Rather, it was the Commission's position, as stated by several members, that no Chief should
be in a position of holding
absolute
authority and that no legislative action should
be
enacted
on the strength of one individual's personality, character, and/or talents.
It
was felt that
legislation should reflect a general safeguarding ofthe public good and that the granting of
unrestricted power to a single person, in many opinions, does not provide such a check and
balance safeguard.
It
is very understandable that any leader of an organization desires unfettered, full
control of his/her operation, and in the instance of Chief Bowers, he exercises control
appropriately and well. Unquestionably, under certain situations, a fire chief must invoke or
delegate absolute authority, such as on fire grounds, during mass-casualty incidents, or when
potential or imminent life-threatening conditions exist. Every person in power wants, and
should have, the ability to lead. However, history is replete with instances of absolute power
denying free expression and little or no true opportunity to be constructively critical, offer
suggestions, or make meaningful proactive contributions to the common goal. No individual is
all-knowing, nor do time and demands on a leader always permit him to
be
open and attentive
to the concerns of all his constituent groups. That is why the FES Commission, in its current
form, exists.
Reportedly, no other County Board, Committee, or Commission (BCC) has the authority to
block an agency head from implementing any initiative it deems inappropriate,
ill
advised, or
contrary to the public good. Notwithstanding this fact, is it not also true that no other BCC has
oversight of an organization with paid and a large volunteer force such as our FRS is? Our
county is extremely fortunate to have this workforce synergy, all portions of which are well­
trained, equipped, and dedicated to excellence.
The strength of such an organization can only be maintained by ensuring that all its important
components have a voice in how the organization operates.
It
is against human nature to
expect people to continue to care, be productively active, and manifest all the valued
characteristics of commitment if they cannot be heard by those who run the organization. The
simple advisory component, by itself, will just not cut it.
If
the Commission is to be meaningful
and truly perform its function and responsibility of communicating to you, the executive and
the fire chief, the vantage point of the workforces, other stakeholders, and in particular, the
public, then it has to be able to say the occasional "no", as well as the expected "yes."
Thank you for providing me this opportunity to discuss this important matter with you. I look
forward to personally addressing questions you likely will have.
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Councilman Phil Andrews,
December
28,
2011
I appreciated and thank you for the recent opportunity to appear before the Council's
Public Safety Committee on the issue of the Fire
&
Emergency Service Commission's
(FESC) advise and consent authority. I would like to provide you with the following
clarification: The Commission had taken, at its November meeting, only a straw vote on
their considered opinion regarding Bill
30-11.
Therefore, to date, an official vote has not
taken place. In the straw vote, all three public members and the two Volunteer
Representatives voted to maintain the FESC's present authority. The Commissioner
representing IAFF Local 1664 mentioned that, as yet, the union had not taken a specific
stand on the issue but that they might be were leaning toward retaining the existing
authority. The Commissioner representing the FRS' Chief Officers clearly stated that the
FESC should only be an
advisory
body and not be able to veto any of the Fire Chiefs
initiatives.
I appeared before you on December
8, 2011,
as the vice chair of the Commission, at the
request of the FESC's Chair, due to a work commitment which prevented her from
attending personally. The purpose of my presentation was to provide you with my own
detailed opinion which supported the aforementioned straw vote. please understand,
since the FESC members do not permit any single member, including its chair, to
officially represent the FESC, without a majority vote specifically authorizing
representation, I intend to revise and will resubmit my
12/8/11
testimony to ensure that
it is clearly stated as my own opinion. At its December
8, 2011
meeting, the FESC
members in attendance (personally or telephonically) discussed who should speak or
not speak for the FESC and did not discuss what its official position will be regarding
Bill
30-11.
At the FESC January meeting, I intend to make a motion in opposition to the
current effort to remove the consent portion of the FESC's authority.
Thank you, again,
Chris J. Zervas
Vice Chairman
Fire
&
Emergency Services Commission
cc: Council Member Roger Berliner
Council Member Marc EIrich
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MONTGOMERY C:OUi\TY FIRE AND EMERGEl\CY SERVICE COMMISSION
January 17, 2012
Councilmember Phil Andrews, Chair
Public Safety Committee
100 Maryland Avenue, 6
th
Floor
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Dear Councilmember Andrews:
On Thursday, January 12
,
2012 the Fire and Emergency Services Commission (FESC)
met as regularly scheduled to conduct its monthly business associated with the Montgomery
County Fire and Rescue Service.
As it relates to Bill 30-11, the Commission passed a motion to request that the Public
Safety Committee (PSC) recommend to the full Council that the FESC responsibilities related to
assisting the Fire Chief with the annual budget process be removed. Particularly in recent
years, this has become a complex issue which goes beyond the needs of the Fire and Rescue
Service and requires the Fire Chief to interact with the County Executive, the Director of
Management and Budget, and other staff. Nevertheless, under current practice, the Fire Chief
does submit his budget to the FESC at its next meeting after the County Executive makes public
his budget recommendations, and the FESC would provide comments if it has a serious
concern relative to the safe and timely delivery of Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services to the
citizens of and visitors to l\IIontgomery County.
The Commission has discussed in detail the proposed bill which would change the
duties of the Commission from approval/disapproval of the Fire Chief's General Orders and
policies. After such discussion, the Commission passed a Motion by which it directed the
preparation of this letter by which we advise that the FESC requests that it retain its current
approval authority over all other items currently identified in the law. This motion passed six (6)
for and one (1) against. The intent of this motion was to illustrate the FESC desire to continue
providing a vital service to Montgomery County and the Fire and Emergency and Rescue
Service. The authority currently granted to the FESC is very limited, as it should be, since the
change in law which was coincident with the creation of the post of County Fire Chief. In
retaining the approval/disapproval power of the FESC, Council was following a long line of
decisions by Council dating from 1980, and which were in keeping with discussions and
negotiations with the various elements of the Fire and Rescue Service.
th
~
....- - -..--..-.--.--..- . - . - - - - - - - - - - - = - - - - - - - - - - ­
\Iontgomery
Counrj
Fire and
R~sclle
Service
101 Monroe Street. 12th Floor· Rockville. Maryland 20850 • 240-777-2461, FAX 240-777-2415
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The FESC request to remove its responsibilities and authority related to the annual
budgeting process relates only to the actual construction of the annual budget from Fire Chief's
office. This should allow the Fire Chief to manage the budgeting process in coordination with
other County Department Heads more effectively. The intent is not to eliminate the FESC ability
to approve or disapprove Chiefs Orders, Regulations, Policy statements, etc.
The current FESC was created on August 1, 2009 after Bill 38-08 was enacted. This
restructured the commission and its powers to better fit the current Fire Service model in
Montgomery County. Since then, the FESC has only disapproved one Policy and has on
numerous occasions offered constructive comments and suggestions that have produced better
and more effective policies and Chief's Orders. The transparency that is necessary to run a
modern Fire Service is what drives this FESC to continue to provide professional and necessary
comments and suggestions to the Fire Chief. Montgomery County has a very strong
combination department, made up of both equally trained Career and Volunteer. Both the
Montgomery County Career Firefighter's Union Local 1664 and the Montgomery County
Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association have indicated their desire that the FESC retains its
powers as currently assigned.
Safety of our citizens and of our emergency providers is always of high concern to
everyone associated with the Fire and Emergency Services. The Fire Chief currently has the
authority to act immediately and without approval on any and all Safety issues and critical
Chief's Orders and Policy Changes. The impact of removing the approval authority of the FESC
would have no effect on emergency safety within the Fire Service.
Finally, some have indicated to us that no other board or commission has the power to
approve or disapprove the decisions of a department head. While there is some questions as to
whether that position is correct, i.e. Board of Appeals, Ethics Commission, it must be
remembered that the primary driver for the creation of the FESC and its predecessors was the
unique system in Montgomery County for delivery of fire, rescue, and emergency medical
services through a combined system. The FESC believes that it and its predecessors played a
very key role in making the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service one of the top
departments in the Nation, one of which we can all be justly proud.
I had hoped to be able to provide you with detailed information on the voting record of
the Commission that would document that there has only been the one issue that was not
passed. Unfortunately, that request that was made of staff to provide me with the requested
information has not been received at this time. Hopefully, we will be able to provide you with
that needed information prior to the upcoming Public Safety Committee meeting.
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The FESC would like to thank the PSC and Council for the continued chance to serve
Montgomery County.
Sincerely,
Anita Powell, Chair
Fire and Emergency Services Commission
cc: Fire and Emergency Services Commissioners
Montgomery County Council/Public Safety Committee Members
@
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
Richard R. Bowers
Fire Chief
January 17, 2012
To: Montgomery County Council Public Safety Committee
From: Fire Chief Richard Bowers
Subject: Bill 30-11
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the request of the Public Safety Committee
regarding the FESC's approval and disapproval authority.
I have taken a considerable amount of time to review the types of issues, policies, and
procedures that should or should not be within the FESC's jurisdiction as requested by
the Public Safety Committee. After careful thought and review by the Fire Chief, the
FESC should not have approval and disapproval authority to any related FRS
administrative or operational, Executive Regulations, policies or procedures. Rather the
FESC should be advisory to the Fire Chief on FRS matters. I truly believe that this is
best for the county residents and the fire and rescue services.
The present FESC process of approval and disapproval authority of the administrative
and operational FRS items:
1. Is inefficient and ineffective
2. Is not needed because both represented groups have notice and opportunity
rights
3. Is in conflict with the County Charter -215 for a single officer as head
4. Effects and impacts my ability to lead and manage the FRS
Thank you,
Fire Chief Richie Bowers
Office of the Fire Chief
101 Monroe Street,
Ith
Floor, Rockville, Maryland, 20850-2589
2401777-2446,
FAX 2401777-2443
Serving with dedication, courage and compassion