Due to an increase in the number of COVID cases among staff, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has implemented temporary staffing adjustments to maintain the highest level of service possible to our community while balancing personnel challenges. At the time of this announcement, 66 employees were positive for COVID. An additional 12 FCFRD staff were in quarantine.
Command Staff have reviewed data sets and options to determine the appropriate adjustments to achieve the safest balance of emergency response, including:
• Temporary cross staffing among six units, including a Hazardous Materials Unit, a Hazardous Materials Support Unit, and four tankers located throughout the county. Cross staffing allows apparatus to remain in service and available for response.
• Temporarily placing four units out of service. Tower Ladder 405 (Franconia), Medic 408B (Annandale), Medic 409B (Mount Vernon), Medic 410B (Bailey’s Crossroads). It is important to note that the medic units are located at stations that have two EMS units assigned to them. One EMS unit will remain in service at each station.
• Requesting our volunteer partners to assist with staffing transport units.
Adjustments and staffing are evaluated daily. Units will remain in-service if staffing permits.
“The recent rise in COVID cases has affected everyone including first responders. These temporary adjustments are the result of data-informed decisions made to minimize the impact of staffing changes on our communities and ensure that the men and women of FCFRD can continue providing the highest quality fire suppression and emergency medical services to the communities we serve. We must balance the ability to carry out the mission of our department with the health, safety, wellness, and morale of our responders,” said Fire Chief John Butler.
The FCFRD has 1,260 career staff. Currently, 85.4% of FCFRD personnel are vaccinated. Per county policy, all other personnel are required to be tested regularly.