Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service in Their Own Words

The Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service vision is to enhance public safety & support quality of life through direct immersion in our communities, effectively blending outreach & education, & by leveraging our career & volunteer workforce to deliver exceptional services & improve our resiliency to meet increased challenges.

The Mission of the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service is to protect lives, property & the environment with comprehensive risk reduction programs & safe & effective emergency response provided by highly skilled career & volunteer service providers representing the County’s diverse population.

Additionally, we follow the County Executive's principles:

The Montgomery County (MD) Fire & Rescue Service (MCFRS), an Accredited Agency, is a full spectrum life safety agency protecting about 500 square miles & over 1 million people who live and work in Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction. Under the direction of Interim Fire Chief John Kinsley, MCFRS is a combination system (volunteer/career) in the suburban Washington, DC area, operating with an annual budget of about $220 million dollars. The MCFRS annually handles over 120,000 emergency calls for service & is staffed by nearly 2,700 certified & trained career & volunteer responders.

In June 2013, MCFRS received the Congressional Fire Services Institute's Excellence in Fire-Based EMS Delivery Award. Amongst numerous criteria, MCFRS was singled out for distinction due to recent successes with our STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) Program. This program emphasizes rapid diagnosis, pre-hospital treatment, & prompt delivery of high priority cardiac patients to a cardiac catheterization lab. This collaborative effort is shared with our partner hospitals with an end-goal of “door to balloon” times of ninety minutes or less, ninety percent of the time.

In April 2017, MCFRS was honored by the Congressional Fire Services Institute for the development and implementation of its Montgomery County Non-Emergency Intervention & Community Care Coordination program. This program aims to reduce frequent emergency service 911 users for non-emergent conditions by connecting them with appropriate resources to more effectively assist in treating their conditions.

MCFRS established the Montgomery County Non-Emergency Intervention & Community Care Coordination (MCNIC3) initiative, a program that targets frequent utilizers of the 911 system & connects those patients to existing medical/social programs within their communities better able to meet their health care needs. Leveraging existing public & private health & social resources, MCNI3 enables fire department personnel to refer & connect patients to programs most appropriate to treat their conditions, while maintaining access to the patients’ progress. As a result, call volumes for EMS services among the highest users of EMS services have reduced, significantly.

In August 2018, MCFRS was voted by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International another five years of accredited status. MCFRS first achieved the coveted accredited agency recognition in 2007 and is currently only one of 250 fire departments worldwide who maintain this status. The fire service accreditation framework promotes continuous improvement & a never-ending pathway of achieving organizational excellence. This is achieved through comprehensive master & strategic planning, conducting & documenting a self-assessment against 252 performance indicators, & developing a community risk assessment & producing a standards of cover manual. The accreditation framework mandates much quantitative analysis of performance data and is validated by an outside peer assessment team once every five years.

While at the same time, the MCFRS was working to achieve Accreditation, the agency was presented with the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation (NFFF) ‘Seal of Excellence’ for not only being the first organization to institute all sixteen Life-Safety Initiatives adopted by the NFFF, but also as being the largest agency to do so. The County Executive & then Fire Chief Tom Carr commissioned a Senior Citizen Fire Safety Task Force report that was presented and led to ‘SOS – Summer of Safety’, a multi-faceted life-safety program for seniors.