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Prince William County, VA Fire Department

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  • Prince William County, VA Fire Department

    Good afternoon,

    I am in the beginning stages of the Prince William County, VA Fire Department process. I was looking for some insight on the department such as reputation, advancement opportunities, good place to work for, etc. I've done the research on the departments website as well as the good old google search, however looking for some more info from those who are familiar with the department and the area for living purposes also. If lucky enough to be hired, it would be a move for me. I know the reputations of Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, but never heard too much on Prince William. Any and all insight is welcome.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by msambrato; 03-14-2018, 11:50 AM.

  • #2
    http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dep...and_Rescue.pdf the 2019 Budget lays out a lot of upcoming changes. Very similar to other regional large suburban departments (Fairfax/Montgomery/PG County), with mainly career and some volunteer staffing, suburban to rural first due areas, standardized regional SOPs (they run mutual with surrounding areas). Currently they're on a 24 hour staffing for 2/3 of the stations, with the other 1/3 being staffed daytime by career and nights by volunteers. That's about to change in the next year. currently a 48 hour work week (shift personnel work 24/48s with a kelly day, but all shifts will be going to 24 hr staffing on a 3 platoon 56 hr week system, so that will equate to a significant pay scale bump for everybody. So it will be much more comparable to Fairfax County with their pay structure. This will be much higher than Alexandria and Arlington, which start much lower, cost more to live in, and I can't say for Alex, but I know for certain that Arlington doesn't have a promotion to engineer or "technician" level apparatus operator. Both Alex and Arl are losing people as fast as they hire them, so the revolving door keeps turning. If you're planning ahead, get on this list, take this test. When you're ready to settle down and have a family or home someday and want an affordable and decent quality of living, you can make it happen in PW County or points just outside and have a decent commute.

    One last thing, correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, they still staff ALS transport units with 2 medics, not a BLS/ALS team. Similar to Alexandria. Arl and Fairfax do dual staffing. But that can change in less than a month with a simple department order.
    Last edited by 631NY; 03-16-2018, 12:27 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by 631NY View Post
      http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dep...and_Rescue.pdf the 2019 Budget lays out a lot of upcoming changes. Very similar to other regional large suburban departments (Fairfax/Montgomery/PG County), with mainly career and some volunteer staffing, suburban to rural first due areas, standardized regional SOPs (they run mutual with surrounding areas). Currently they're on a 24 hour staffing for 2/3 of the stations, with the other 1/3 being staffed daytime by career and nights by volunteers. That's about to change in the next year. currently a 48 hour work week (shift personnel work 24/48s with a kelly day, but all shifts will be going to 24 hr staffing on a 3 platoon 56 hr week system, so that will equate to a significant pay scale bump for everybody. So it will be much more comparable to Fairfax County with their pay structure. This will be much higher than Alexandria and Arlington, which start much lower, cost more to live in, and I can't say for Alex, but I know for certain that Arlington doesn't have a promotion to engineer or "technician" level apparatus operator. Both Alex and Arl are losing people as fast as they hire them, so the revolving door keeps turning. If you're planning ahead, get on this list, take this test. When you're ready to settle down and have a family or home someday and want an affordable and decent quality of living, you can make it happen in PW County or points just outside and have a decent commute.

      One last thing, correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, they still staff ALS transport units with 2 medics, not a BLS/ALS team. Similar to Alexandria. Arl and Fairfax do dual staffing. But that can change in less than a month with a simple department order.
      alex is a 1 for 1 (medic/emt)
      pretty much if you're a medic and wanna ride an engine/als engine then you can kiss that dream goodbye cause you'll be stuck on a medic unit until you promote to captain. however, if you're a ff/emt it's a sweet gig cause you'll never have to staff an ambo...well maybe like 1 or 2 of them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 631NY View Post
        http://www.pwcgov.org/government/dep...and_Rescue.pdf the 2019 Budget lays out a lot of upcoming changes. Very similar to other regional large suburban departments (Fairfax/Montgomery/PG County), with mainly career and some volunteer staffing, suburban to rural first due areas, standardized regional SOPs (they run mutual with surrounding areas). Currently they're on a 24 hour staffing for 2/3 of the stations, with the other 1/3 being staffed daytime by career and nights by volunteers. That's about to change in the next year. currently a 48 hour work week (shift personnel work 24/48s with a kelly day, but all shifts will be going to 24 hr staffing on a 3 platoon 56 hr week system, so that will equate to a significant pay scale bump for everybody. So it will be much more comparable to Fairfax County with their pay structure. This will be much higher than Alexandria and Arlington, which start much lower, cost more to live in, and I can't say for Alex, but I know for certain that Arlington doesn't have a promotion to engineer or "technician" level apparatus operator. Both Alex and Arl are losing people as fast as they hire them, so the revolving door keeps turning. If you're planning ahead, get on this list, take this test. When you're ready to settle down and have a family or home someday and want an affordable and decent quality of living, you can make it happen in PW County or points just outside and have a decent commute.

        One last thing, correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, they still staff ALS transport units with 2 medics, not a BLS/ALS team. Similar to Alexandria. Arl and Fairfax do dual staffing. But that can change in less than a month with a simple department order.
        Are they switching to the W-O-W-O-W-O-O-O-O schedule like Fairfax or a different version?

        Comment


        • #5
          That?s most likely, makes sense in that they?re in sync with the region and units that run mutual aide, including BCs will establish rapport on incidents and be able to do more training together. The airport, Alex, Arl, and Fairfax are synced up.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 631NY View Post
            That?s most likely, makes sense in that they?re in sync with the region and units that run mutual aide, including BCs will establish rapport on incidents and be able to do more training together. The airport, Alex, Arl, and Fairfax are synced up.
            Thanks for the info. I just don't think PWC is talked about as much but maybe a hidden gem!
            Of course like most i don't want to be stuck on an ambulance so seems like the route to go.

            I'm going to assume PWC is as competitive as the surrounding departments, right?

            Comment


            • #7
              Very PT heavy so make sure you?re training; CrossFit or Running/weights (that?s what I was advised by someone who?s on that worked with my brother in NJ). Lots of people moving from N.J. to that whole area and turning a career. I was in the process for Alex and still am for PG, PW, Ffx. PW is on top for me with Nash of dream departments.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd be careful saying things like "I don't want to be stuck on an ambulance" on a public forum. That's the bulk of the work, people have to take on assignments they may not like in their careers, and recruiters are monitoring social media and forums like this more and more and it isn't hard to identify people. Just a suggestion. You love EMS, and you'd be more than happy to push a wheelbarrow all day as long as it has PWC Fire & Rescue logo on the side of it. Get in the right mindset.
                Last edited by 631NY; 03-20-2018, 01:59 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Has anyone heard about scheduling for their polygraph?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Harris543 View Post
                    Has anyone heard about scheduling for their polygraph?
                    They have been doing them this month. I went earlier in the month for mine - have not had any updates since. When did you do the written/CPAT?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kdgoalie View Post

                      They have been doing them this month. I went earlier in the month for mine - have not had any updates since. When did you do the written/CPAT?
                      Written in March
                      CPAT May 5th

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Harris543 View Post

                        Written in March
                        CPAT May 5th
                        Hopefully you should be hearing soon then - did you get the polygraph booklet after the CPAT?

                        I took written in March as well, CPAT was March 31. Got the booklet, filled it out and submitted it to them. Was about a week after I think when they called to schedule the polygraph session.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kdgoalie View Post

                          Hopefully you should be hearing soon then - did you get the polygraph booklet after the CPAT?

                          I took written in March as well, CPAT was March 31. Got the booklet, filled it out and submitted it to them. Was about a week after I think when they called to schedule the polygraph session.
                          Got the polygraph booklet that Saturday May 5th, mailed it Monday and tracking number said it was delivered that Tuesday. Its been a little over a week now but sure there busy processing applicants for the July academy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Harris543 View Post

                            Got the polygraph booklet that Saturday May 5th, mailed it Monday and tracking number said it was delivered that Tuesday. Its been a little over a week now but sure there busy processing applicants for the July academy.
                            Yeah I am sure too. I think that is where I am at now too. Waiting to see when I can schedule psych / medical. They are pretty good at responding to email, have you tried contacting them?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kdgoalie View Post

                              Yeah I am sure too. I think that is where I am at now too. Waiting to see when I can schedule psych / medical. They are pretty good at responding to email, have you tried contacting them?
                              I sent and email yesterday asking if they received the packet, FBI Background packet and all other required documents needed at this point in the election process. I currently live in New York so any time they request for documents mailed I become a little paranoid it will get lost in the mail, delivered to the wrong address, etc... I'm really hoping there is still a chance for the July academy.

                              Comment

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