Operations Division

The goal of the Operations Division is to provide the highest level of quality service to the citizens and visitors of Fairfax County. These services have features that meet customer needs and create customer satisfaction. The Division, comprised of more than 1,300 career and 350 volunteer personnel, respond annually to over 22,000 suppression incidents, over 63,000 emergency medical incidents and approximately 5,700 public service incidents. Each of the 37 stations is now equipped with ALS engines, each staffed with a highly trained firefighter/paramedic. All personnel within the division are certified as Emergency Medical Technicians and one-third of the force is certified at the Advanced Life Support (paramedic) level. In addition, speciality teams within the division respond to incidents dealing with hazardous materials, technical rescue (ropes and confined spaces) and marine operations. The division has an operating budget in excess of $132 million or, approximately 80 percent of the department's budget.

Assistant Chief of Operations provides leadership and direction for managing all aspects of the Operations Division. This position directly supervises five Deputy Chiefs (three shift Deputy Chiefs, one Deputy Chief of Special Operations, one Deputy Chief of EMS Administration, and an administrative staff.

Deputy Chief (A, B, C-Shifts)
Each of the three 24-hour rotating shifts is commanded by a shift Deputy Chief who is responsible for the daily management of their specific shift. This includes overall supervision of approximately 300 personnel, movement of apparatus throughout the county for coverage, personnel training, certifications and re-certifications, and management of emergency incidents.

Deputy Chief, Special Operations
This position has the responsibility for managing all the department's specialty programs. These programs include EMS, specialty teams for incidents involving hazardous materials (nuclear, chemical and biological), technical rescue (rope rescue, confined space and building collapse) and marine operations (swift, open and static water). In addition, this position coordinates all final scheduling of on-going training and mandated certifications for department personnel.

Deputy Chief, Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Manages the department’s EMS programs, working closely with the Operational Medical Director and Quality Assurance Manager and other divisions to ensure the highest quality of emergency medical care is provided to every citizen. This position ensures medical controls and protocols are established and followed, continual education of advanced life support (ALS) providers is maintained, and the citizens of Fairfax County receive the highest quality of competent and compassionate care.

Battalion Chief, Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Responsible for the management of EMS Supervisors and the “Total Quality Management” (TQM) of the EMS services provided by members of each of the three operational shifts.

Office of the Operational Medical Director and the Office of Quality Assurance
Works in collaboration with EMS and Fire and Rescue Department staff to provide direct and indirect medical oversight, integrated continuous quality improvement, and coordinated training initiatives to support and sustain firefighters in the delivery of high quality patient care.

Accomplishments made as a result of the re-structure of EMS is the implementation of the following work groups to better manage EMS service delivery:

  • Clinical Practice – Works closely with the Medical Director to address matters of clinical care including review and revision of medical treatment protocols and consideration of new therapies and interventions.
  • Quality Improvement/Documentation – Works closely with the Quality Manger to coordinate comprehensive CQI efforts.
  • Policies and Procedures – Focuses on the Department’s EMS policies and procedures to assist with review and periodic revision.
  • Resource Management – Responsible for the selection and maintenance of equipment and material resources within the Department.
  • Training and Certification – Manages training, internship, and certifications for Department personnel.
  • Disaster - Responsible for focusing on disaster preparedness and mass casualty incident planning.

Battalion Chief, Urban Search & Rescue Program Manager
This position is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Department's US&R and reports to the Deputy Chief of Special Operations. The Program Manager provides oversight of the department's Urban Search and Rescue Team.

This team, designated "Virginia Task Force One" (VA-TF1), is a vital component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA's) national response system for emergencies occurring throughout the United States. In addition, this team has a primary response assignment to the US Agency for International Development and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance ( USAID/OFDA) for the delivery of humanitarian relief during international disasters and complex emergencies.

Battalion Chief, TROT Program Manager
This positions plans, organizes, and directs the day-to-day administrative and emergency response activities of the Technical Rescue Operations Team (TROT), which is comprised of over 150 members. Establishes strategic goals and priority-based objectives to accomplish the mission of the team. Evaluates and benchmarks the performance of the team and reinforces or adjusts activities as necessary. Coordinates the annual review of procedures and operations to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal regulations as well as with prudent and appropriate professional standards.

Coordinates the initial certification and continuing education for members of the TROT. This includes the TROT certification school, monthly refresher training, awareness training, and other rescue training as appropriate.

Field Battalion Chief
The Fire and Rescue Department has seven battalions within Fairfax County, each supervised by a Battalion Chief working a 24-hour shift. There are 21 field Battalion Chiefs (one for each shift in each of the seven battalions), with each battalion averaging five fire stations. While on duty, Battalion Chiefs manage their battalion's staffing needs, equipment movement and training needs, and supervise approximately 50 firefighters per battalion.

Field Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Captain
Each battalion has an EMS Captain assigned to it as a battalion EMS supervisor. These positions work with the Battalion Chiefs as part of a Battalion Management Team. The role of the EMS Captain is to ensure total quality management (TQM) for all medical emergency incidents, provide supervision for assigned ALS providers, and assume the role of a medical control officer for emergency medical incidents.

Each day there is a different shift (A-Shift, B-Shift, or C-Shift) working a 24-hour tour of duty. Each shift is staffed with approximately 400 officers and firefighters, with each person being assigned to a specific station, within a battalion. Minimum daily staffing mandates that 332 positions be filled, which includes a variety of specialized positions such as ALS, HazMat and Technical Rescue providers, as well as maintaining a specific number of officers on functional units and in staff positions. Minimum staffing on apparatus includes:

  • ALS Engine - 4 (1 driver, 1 officer, 1 firefighter/paramedic, 1 firefighter)
  • Ladder Truck - 3 (1 driver, 1 officer, 1 firefighter)
  • Rescue - 4 (1 driver, 1 officer, 2 technicians)
  • BLS Ambulance - 2 (1 driver, 1 technician)
  • ALS Medic Unit - 2 (1 driver, 1 officer, [both ALS certified])

The following is an overview of apparatus assigned to Operations:

  • 37 ALS Engines
  • 7 Aerial Ladder Trucks
  • 7 Tower Ladder Trucks
  • 8 Rescues
  • 25 Advanced Life Support Units (Medics)
  • 17 Basic Life Support Units (Ambulances)
  • Multiple support units (i.e., Hazardous Material Units, Technical Rescue Units, Tankers, Brush Units, Boats, Command and Communications Units, Light and Air Units, Foam Units, etc.)


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