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Mission Statement

The mission of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) is to protect lives, property, and the environment with comprehensive risk reduction programs and safe, efficient and effective emergency response provided by skilled, motivated, and compassionate career and volunteer service providers representing Montgomery County's diverse population.

MCFRS consists of the Office of the Fire Chief; Division of Operations; Division of Human Resources; Division of Fiscal Management; Division of Support Services; Division of Volunteer and Community Services; the Fire and Emergency Services Commission; and 19 Local Fire and Rescue Departments (LFRD). MCFRS operates 37 fire and rescue stations and several satellite offices.


Budget Overview

The total approved FY18 Operating Budget for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service is $214,862,420, a decrease of $1,077,130 or 0.50 percent from the FY17 Approved Budget of $215,939,550. The primary driver of this decrease is the reduced required County contribution into retirement plans as a result of revised actuarial assumptions and changes to the amortization period based on the County's five year experience study, the transfer of Emergency Communications Center positions to the Police budget, and the transfer of Master Lease payments to the Debt Service budget. Personnel Costs comprise 82.00 percent of the budget for 1,285 full-time positions and one part-time position, and a total of 1,286.76 FTEs. Total FTEs may include seasonal or temporary positions and may also reflect workforce charges to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses account for the remaining 18.00 percent of the FY18 budget.

The Debt Service for the Fire Tax District Fund is appropriated in the Debt Service Fund and is, therefore, not displayed in this section. To pay for the Debt Service, a transfer of funds from the Fire Tax District Fund to the Debt Service Fund of $7,678,780 for general obligation debt and $6,281,400 for other debt is required.

In addition, this department's Capital Improvements Program (CIP) requires Current Revenue funding.

Linkage to County Result Areas

While this program area supports all eight of the County Result Areas, the following is emphasized:

  • Safe Streets and Secure Neighborhoods


Department Performance Measures

Performance measures for this department are included below (where applicable), with multi-program measures displayed at the front of this section and program-specific measures shown with the relevant program. The FY17 estimates reflect funding based on the FY17 approved budget. The FY18 and FY19 figures are performance targets based on the FY18 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY19.


  • Increased staffing at Burtonsville (Station 15), reducing the failure to respond rate and adding 24/7 ambulance and paramedic coverage to Olney (Station 40).
  • Began Advanced Life Support response time improvement by adding a Paramedic to engines at Bethesda, Cabin John, and Glen Echo stations and by adding a Paramedic Chase Unit at Bethesda (Democracy Boulevard).
  • To serve patients with chronic health needs MCFRS is collaborating with Adventist Health Care to visit patients in their home with a Registered Nurse and a paramedic. They provide follow-up care and assure compliance with medication and home-care requirements. This can reduce their use of emergency departments and redirect care to appropriate medical professionals.

  • MCFRS has identified patients with high EMS utilization, and provides information on these users to Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS is able to identify patients already enrolled in various HHS programs and is able to improve non-emergency services to these patients, and concurrently reduce their use of emergency services.

  • Completed the 2016-2022 Fire, Rescue, Emergency Medical Services and Community Risk Reduction Master Plan.
  • Opened the new Public Safety Training Academy and a newly constructed Glenmont Fire Station 18.
  • Continued implementation of Public Safety System Modernization (PSSM) including buildout of the new fire station alerting system; testing of and training on the new computer aided dispatch system; and the design of the new radio system.



  • Continue implementation of Advanced Life Support (ALS) enhancement by adding a Paramedic Chase Unit at Aspen Hill (Station 25).
  • Increase staffing at Sandy Spring Station 40 to address response times.
  • Expand Paramedic services by adding five Paramedics.
  • Advance the consolidation of the Emergency Communications Center with the transfer of 27 positions to the Montgomery County Police Department.
  • Continue to work with the Insurance Services Office (ISO) to re-evaluate the county's fire protection capabilities which may result in an improved public fire suppression classification and lower property insurance premiums


Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • Continued civilianization of dispatch positions in the Emergency Communications Center.
  • Achieved increased ALS availability and decreased ALS response time in Kensington (Station 5) and the surrounding area by shifting resources without incurring increased ongoing costs.

Program Descriptions

  Office of the Fire Chief

The Fire Chief has the ultimate responsibility for the overall management, direction, planning and coordination of all MCFRS programs and operations. The Office of the Fire Chief manages the overall service needs and delivery requirements of MCFRS including fire and rescue master planning, resource deployment plans, and the overall strategic direction for MCFRS; develops and recommends capital improvement projects; manages and integrates information technology into the MCFRS' business processes; and recommends policy initiatives and programs to the County Executive.

The Office of the Fire Chief includes the Internal Affairs Section and the Planning Section. The internal affairs office investigates complaints and serious violations of the personnel regulations and department policy and conducts procedural background investigations of applicants for firefighters/rescuer positions. The planning office analyzes risk and historical emergency incident activity and considers it along with development and growth to project strategic resource needs, facility placement, special operational requirements, and future workforce levels. The Planning Office develops planning documents such as the Fire, Rescue, Emergency Medical Services, and Community Risk Reduction Master Plan and the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service's Annual Strategic Plan. In addition, considerable mapping and geographic incident data analysis is provided by the Planning Office.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) core competencies met during FY14-FY18 accreditation cycle98.8%98.8%100.0%100.0%100.0%


The Operations Division is the organizational component of the MCFRS that is responsible for the day-to-day delivery of critical Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Fire Suppression, and Technical Rescue mitigation to the citizens and visitors of Montgomery County. The Division's personnel also assist the Division of Volunteer and Community Services by performing a wide variety of non-emergency services that are focused on public education and community risk reduction.

The overall responsibility for Fire and Rescue Service operations lies directly with the Fire Chief. The Division Chief of Operations is assigned by the Fire Chief to manage the Division. The career and volunteer components of the combined service work in an "Integrated Emergency Command Structure" that defines the authority and responsibility for all members of the service. MCFRS responds to approximately 120,000 emergency incidents annually. Requests for emergency medical assistance comprise the majority of those incidents, approximately 90,000 calls annually resulting in the transport of 70,000 people to local hospitals. There are 27,000 fire incidents, technical rescue, and hazardous materials incidents annually.

The Operations Division is organized into four major sections, including Field Operations, Emergency Communications Center (ECC), Special Operations, and Emergency Medical Service.

MCFRS personnel operate from 37 Fire and Rescue stations. Thirty-five engines,16 aerial units, 6 heavy rescue squads, 17 ALS medic units, and 24 Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances make up the primary fleet of first response apparatus. There are additional units that can be placed in service with available volunteer or recalled career personnel to increase the MCFRS capability.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
EMS cardiac care: Percentage of STEMI patients with door-to-balloon (D2B) time less than or equal to 90 minutes94.8%93.9%93.7%94.1%94.5%
EMS cardiac care: Percentage of cardiac arrest patients with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) 1N/A31.2%33.0%34.0%35.0%
EMS stroke care: Percentage of stroke patients with EMS to door (E2D) time less than or equal to 30 minutes 2N/A85.9%86.0%86.0%86.0%
90th percentile arrival time for first Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit in metropolitan areas of the county10:4310:3910:3010:2010:25
90th percentile arrival time for first Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit in urban areas of the county12:0511:5311:4611:3611:40
90th percentile arrival time for first Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit in suburban areas of the county11:5711:3111:3111:3111:31
90th percentile arrival time for first Advanced Life Support (ALS) unit in rural areas of the county12:0512:0712:0912:1112:13
90th percentile arrival time for first engine to structure fire in metropolitan areas of the county8:569:099:209:309:40
90th percentile arrival time for first engine to structure fire in urban areas of the county9:328:409:309:409:50
90th percentile arrival time for first engine to structure fire in suburban areas of the county9:4911:1311:0011:1011:20
90th percentile arrival time for first engine to structure fire in rural areas of the county12:0012:0012:0012:2012:40
Percent of residential structure fires confined to the room of origin74%79%77%76%75%
Number of residential fire deaths per 100,000 residents
Number of residential fire injuries per 100,000 residents
1  The Actual FY16 performance figure shown above only reflects a half-year's performance (Q3 and Q4). MCFRS did not begin reporting data for this headline measure to CountyStat until FY16Q3.
2  The Actual FY16 performance figure shown above only reflects a half-year's performance (Q3 and Q4). MCFRS did not begin reporting data for this headline measure to CountyStat until FY16Q3.
3  The FY17 projection of 1.0 death per 100,000 residents is noticeably higher than previous years, as well as FY18-19 projections, due to a single incident involving 7 fatalities that occurred on 8/10/16 (before this performance report had been completed). The incident involved a natural gas explosion and fire in a Silver Spring apartment complex. This incident had a very low probability of occurrence but very high consequences (i.e., categorized as a "special risk").
4  The FY17 projection of 6.3 injured persons per 100,000 residents is noticeably higher than previous years due to a single incident involving 36 injured residents that occurred on 8/10/16 (before this performance report had been completed). The incident involved a natural gas explosion and fire in a Silver Spring apartment complex. This incident had a very low probability of occurrence but very high consequences (i.e., categorized as a "special risk").

Notes: The increase in this program includes the shift of new FY17 positions from the recruit class in Human Resources to the Operations program, and the shift of positions funded by the Emergency Medical Services Transport fee from the Fiscal Management program.

  Support Services

The Division of Support Services provides central administrative and management service and direction for support functions across the department. Core services include logistics, facilities and information technology.

The logistics function consists of property and supply, fleet operations and fleet maintenance. The Property and Supply Section handles the uniform and protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus needs for career and volunteer fire and rescue personnel. This includes the procurement, order placement, receipt, storage, inventory, and distribution of a wide array of items, as well as related contract and budget administration and invoice processing. The section coordinates special services such as uniform tailoring and alterations, shoe repair, and protective clothing inspection, cleaning, and repair.

Maintenance of MCFRS heavy apparatus is performed and managed by the Fleet Operations Section. The section ensures compliance with state and federal regulations pertaining to emissions, inspections and safe vehicle operation.

The Fleet Support Section handles the acquisition and disposal of County-owned apparatus as well as assisting LFRD's with acquisition of apparatus. The section selects, acquires, maintains and repairs tools, equipment, hose, and appliances used by fire and rescue personnel. Fleet support also purchases and manages fuel for the department.

The Facilities Section is responsible for providing fire and rescue facilities that are properly constructed and maintained to enable all elements of the MCFRS to meet their mission. This includes construction of new stations, renovation of existing facilities, and overall monitoring of the department's infrastructure.

The Information Technology (IT) Section is responsible for development, implementation, and ongoing support of all IT needs for the department. This section ensures compliance with all Department of Technology Services requirements, assists with Computer Aided Dispatch, directs the Data Warehouse, and maintains desktops, and Firehouse reporting and inventory control software.

  Human Resources Division

The Division of Human Resources handles hiring, promotional test administration, labor relations, discipline process, pay and benefits, occupational safety, collision review, health and wellness, recruit training, continuing education, and in-service training. The Division is comprised of the following organizational components: employee services/human resources; workforce recruiting; medical; behavioral health; health and safety; and training. The Employee Services/Human Resources Section is responsible for all personnel and labor related issues in MCFRS. Responsibilities of the section include conducting promotional exams, hiring and discipline; advising the Chief and Division Chiefs on personnel and labor matters; participating in the collective bargaining process; and representing the MCFRS in mediation, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, and at the Merit System Protection Board. Staff in the Employee Services Section also act as a department liaison between the County's Office of Human Resources and County Attorney's Office.

The fire and rescue workforce recruiting component provides all levels of marketing, advertising, and community interaction for the purpose of attracting qualified candidates to staff the Fire and Rescue Service as compensated employees and volunteers. Recruiting staff develop public service announcements and attend job fairs, community functions, and events under the banner of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

Fire Rescue Occupational Medical Section (FROMS) was established in 2001. The intent is to provide a fire-specific focus on MCFRS health needs. Services provided by FROMS include entry level physicals, annual physicals, injury care, return to work exams, fitness for duty exams, vaccinations, and follow-up evaluation as necessary. FROMS also monitors employees injured on the job to ensure appropriate care and timely return to work.

The behavioral and mental health of MCFRS fire and rescue personnel and their families is addressed by the Behavioral Health Section. A staff psychologist provides direct clinical services to MCFRS personnel and trains and assists with the Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM). The staff psychologist also trains and educates fire and rescue personnel on matters relating to behavioral health.

The Health and Safety Section ensures the occupational health and safety of personnel through management, accountability, and enforcement of safety policies and procedures in all aspects of fire and rescue activities. The program develops and promotes proactive prevention initiatives to reduce injuries to personnel and damage to property by engaging in root cause analysis and monitoring performance. The section is responsible for the annual personal injury investigations, apparatus/vehicle collision investigations, and near miss and line of duty death investigations. Safety Officers manage apparatus safety, Personal Protection Envelope (PPE), station safety inspections, live fire training, special projects, and safety-related training programs.

The Fire and Rescue Training Academy is responsible for the development and delivery of all fire, rescue, and emergency medical training for MCFRS personnel. The Training Academy is an accredited institution that provides entry-level and advanced levels of training, education, and certification to MCFRS personnel. All training programs comply with applicable Federal, State, and County requirements. The training is conducted to ensure that each Firefighter/Rescuer has the necessary skills, competencies, and practical experiences required to effectively perform the duties of his/her position within the organization.

Notes: The reduction in this program is from the shift of new FY17 positions from the recruit class in this program to the Operations program.

  Fiscal Management

The Division of Fiscal Management is responsible for the overall management of the MCFRS operating budget; the management and administration of State and Federal funding; management oversight of the EMS reimbursement program; accounts payable; accounts receivable; and contract management and development.

The Budget and Grants Section handles budget development and management; grant coordination, administration and close-out; expenditure and revenue analysis and tracking; ordering and payment for office and station supplies; and department-wide financial procedures.

The Emergency Medical Services Transport (EMST) Reimbursement Section manages the department's ambulance transport reimbursement program. The section reviews patient care reports, ensures compliance with various local and federal regulations, manages a large contract, reconciles revenues, distributes and tracks EMST revenues that are sent to the 19 volunteer departments and monitors the expenditure of EMST reimbursement funds by MCFRS.

The Procurement Section advises and assists in the acquisition of all goods and services for the department. The expertise on procurement procedures and regulations resides in this section, which develops and administers contracts throughout MCFRS. All payments and purchase orders are entered and approved by the Procurement Section, and the section coordinates and oversees the department's purchasing card accounts.

Notes: The decrease in this program includes the shift of positions funded by the Emergency Medical Services Transport fee to the Operations program.

  Volunteer Services

The Division of Volunteer and Community Services manages and coordinates the department's community outreach efforts and provides support and volunteer advocacy, oversight, mediation, and enforcement of MCFRS policies, coordination and technical assistance, incentives, and administrative services to support the Local Fire and Rescue Departments (LFRD) within MCFRS. This program promotes consistent and balanced integration of the activities of volunteer and career firefighters and rescuers; promotes recruitment and retention of volunteers, assists LFRD's in training, risk management, the formulation and standardization of LFRD/MCFRS business plans, use and maintenance of fire and rescue apparatus, budget preparation, and formulating department-wide policy. The program makes recommendations to the Fire Chief, monitors legislative and regulatory actions involving volunteer activities, and informs the affected groups. The program provides additional opportunities for people to volunteer, including the creation of a Mobile Volunteer Personnel Corps.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
Child safety seat inspections survey - percent of respondents who were overall satisfied99.4%99.3%99.5%99.5%99.5%
Budget Trends
Program Contacts

Contact Dominic Del Pozzo of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service at 240.777.2236 or Bruce Meier of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2785 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links
Budget Summary
Salaries and Wages124177183.00125662575.00 129874974.00 127521838.001.5
Employee Benefits61082595.0050530986.00 50151529.00 48662582.00-3.7
Fire Personnel Costs185259778.00176193561.00 180026503.00 176184420.000.0
Operating Expenses37776909.0039745989.00 41206487.00 38678000.00-2.7
Capital Outlay6230187.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Fire Expenditures229266874.00215939550.00 221232990.00 214862420.00-0.5
Full-Time1297.001301.00 1301.00 1285.00-1.2
Part-Time2.001.00 1.00 1.000.0
FTEs1299.261302.76 1302.76 1286.76-1.2
Automation Enhancement Fee97589.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
EMS Reimbursement-Ambulance Fee23346332.0018200000.00 18500000.00 19199561.005.5
Fire Code Enforcement Permits473270.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Investment Income123031.00170020.00 242130.00 242130.0042.4
Miscellaneous Revenues45190.0020000.00 57692.00 240500.001102.5
Other Charges/Fees584456.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Property Tax208445483.00212675398.00 211705490.00 211455538.00-0.6
State Fire/Rescue 508 Funds1750816.000.00 1975000.00 0.000.0
Fire Revenues234866167.00231065418.00 232480312.00 231137729.000.0
Salaries and Wages972311.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Employee Benefits70171.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Personnel Costs1042482.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Operating Expenses1017356.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Expenditures2059838.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Full-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Part-Time0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
FTEs0.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Federal Grants1835751.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
State Grants37975.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Grant Fund - MCG Revenues1873726.000.00 0.00 0.000.0
Total Expenditures231326712.00215939550.00 221232990.00 214862420.00-0.5
Total Full-Time Positions1297.001301.00 1301.00 1285.00-1.2
Total Part-Time Positions2.001.00 1.00 1.000.0
Total FTEs1299.261302.76 1302.76 1286.76-1.2
Total Revenues236739893.00231065418.00 232480312.00 231137729.000.0
FY18 Approved Changes
Changes (with service impacts)
Enhance: Reduce response time at Sandy Spring (Station 40) [Operations]5000000.00
Enhance: ALS response time with a Paramedic Chase Unit at Aspen Hill (Station 25) [Operations]5000005.00
Enhance: Paramedic services [Operations]4500005.00
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY18 Compensation Adjustment29498740.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY17 Compensation Increases7104620.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY17 Lapsed Positions4640000.00
Increase Cost: Coordination with Washington Metrpolitan Area Transit Authority1905001.00
Increase Cost: Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Rescue Association Agreement [Volunteer Services]1831480.00
Increase Cost: Volunteer Corporations' use of EMST revenues [Volunteer Services]1499340.00
Increase Cost: Maintenance Contract for Station Alerting System1410000.00
Increase Cost: Risk Management Adjustment758850.00
Increase Cost: Emergency Medical Services Transport Billing [Fiscal Management]496270.00
Decrease Cost: Printing and Mail-628410.00
Decrease Cost: Consolidation and Civilianization of Emergency Communications Center (ECC)-2165840.00
Decrease Cost: Motor Pool Adjustment-3671760.00
Decrease Cost: Holiday Pay-4150000.00
Decrease Cost: Annualization of FY17 Personnel Costs-4581990.00
Shift: SCBA Master Lease payments to Debt Service [Support Services]-14325660.00
Shift: ECC Consolidation positions to Police [Operations]-1782985-27.00
Decrease Cost: Retirement Adjustment-27062090.00
FY18 APPROVED2148624201286.76
Program Summary
Program NameFY17 APPR
Office of the Fire Chief480694012.00381356112.00
Support Services1078229643.00996857850.00
Human Resources Division3056188052.762974072535.76
Fiscal Management1597920354.101285062715.10
Volunteer Services304568310.00324383710.00
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
FY18 Approved214862.000000214862.000000214862.000000214862.000000214862.000000214862.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Annualization of Positions Approved in FY180.00000045.00000045.00000045.00000045.00000045.000000
New positions in the FY18 budget are generally assumed to be filled at least two months after the fiscal year begins. Therefore, the above amounts reflect annualization of these positions in the outyears.
Elimination of One-Time Items Approved in FY180.000000-98.000000-98.000000-98.000000-98.000000-98.000000
Items recommended for one-time funding in FY18, including outfitting of new positions and equipment for the new Paramedic Chase Unit, will be eliminated from the base in the outyears.
Consolidation and Civilianization of Emergency Communications Center (ECC)0.0000000.000000-1695.000000-1695.000000-1695.000000-1695.000000
In FY18 is year three of a five-year plan to convert 33 uniformed FRS positions to civilian positions in the ECC.
Labor Contracts0.0000001636.0000001636.0000001636.0000001636.0000001636.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Clarksburg Fire Station (P450300) 0.0000000.0000000.0000000.0000000.000000160.000000
Kensington (Aspen Hill) FS 25 Addition (P450903) 0.00000056.00000056.00000056.00000056.00000056.000000
White Flint Fire Station #23 (P451502) 0.0000000.0000000.0000000.00000092.000000184.000000
Subtotal Expenditures214862.000000216501.000000214806.000000214806.000000214898.000000215150.000000
Annualization of Personnel Costs and FTEs
TitleFY18 Approved FY19 Annualized
ALS response time with a Paramedic Chase Unit at Aspen Hill (Station 25)3550005.004000005.00
Additional Documentation