Although Herndon has its own governing body and town-run police station, personnel stationed at Herndon's Fire Station Four are county firefighters and paramedics.
If the town were to have its own fire station dedicated solely to coverage in incorporated Herndon, the station and town would have to finance the costs.
Because of this, the town continues to use county personnel, although many of station four's firefighters and paramedics have been there for multiple years.
Capt. Robert Rhoads explained that although there are firefighters and paramedics on shift to handle respective calls, firefighters on the engine also respond to medical-related calls with the paramedics.
Rhoads said this occurs because the idea is to get "an adequate number of people on the scene to care for the patient and get the patient out to the medic unit quickly and safely."
He added this is "a higher level of service than you will find in most parts of the country, but it affords good patient care, gets them out to the medic unit faster and significantly reduces the probability of injury to a firefighter or medic."
Below are comparisons of Station Four's fire and medic calls to total county responses.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Facts
County Statistics for fiscal year 2004
• Population served: 1,007,800
• Stations: 35
• Square miles: 395
• Annual Budget: $128,563,096
• Uniformed Staff: 1,226
• Civilian Staff: 107
• Operational Volunteers: 296
Emergency Incidents (Suppression: Fire personnel; EMS: Paramedic)
• Suppression: 23,128
• EMS: 62,420
• Total Emergency Incidents: 91,373
Herndon Fire Station Four Statistics
• Population: approx. 22,000
• Volunteer station turned over to Fairfax County: January 1977
• Shifts: 3 (A, B, C)
• Length of shift: 24-hours
• Salary: $40,000 (starting)
• Uniformed staff: 21
• Equipment: One engine, one medic unit*
• Men: 20
• Women: 1
Emergency Incidents 2003** (Suppression: Fire personnel ; EMS: Paramedic)
• Suppression: 2,559
• EMS: 2,368
• Total Emergency Incidents in 2003: 4,927***
*("Engine": is a vehicle that holds water for the attached hose to use; "Truck": is a vehicle which has the extension ladder connected; "Medic unit": is staffed by paramedics; "Ambulance": is staffed by emergency medical technicians (EMT) — every firefighter is an EMT, paramedics go through extra training.)
**(Because the county is upgrading and altering their computer systems, the most recent data available is from 2003.)
*** (Although Station Four covers the general Herndon area, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue allows for crossover of stations, so that people are assisted immediately. Because of this, sometimes Station Four is dispatched to nearby areas, or outside assistance is brought into town, which can skew the data.)