Fire chief’s plan to reassign firefighters in Prince George’s County faces pushback

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Tiffany Green has proposed a new plan to address staffing shortages by reassigning career firefighters from four different stations. 

While the goal is to reduce burnout and tackle the shortage, not everyone agrees this is the right move.

Fire and EMS leaders in Prince George’s County are expressing concerns, feeling blindsided by Chief Green's changes. They fear the plan will create significant risks.

The county is grappling with a shortage of firefighters and EMS personnel, leaving those serving the community facing serious challenges.

"I would say they’re upset about everything – volunteer and career," said Lee Lutz, president of the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association.

The Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Department announced it is moving 55 career firefighters from four stations to assist in other areas. 


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This decision will leave Station 835 in Greenbelt, Station 839 in Bowie-Belair, Station 824 in Berwyn Heights, and Station 855 in Bunker Hill without sufficient first responders.

In a letter, Chief Green stated, "It is extremely necessary to balance our ability to provide efficient and effective emergency service delivery."

However, Lutz believes this will negatively impact response times. 

"While on a day-to-day basis, it may not make a lot of difference, if there is someone in fact who is having a major problem, it could possibly mean the difference between life and death," he said.

Lutz highlighted that Prince George’s County is down more than 200 firefighters. 

Over the past year, they have worked a combined total of $30 million in overtime. 

"This is not something that just happened overnight. This has been a years-long event. Probably for the past 10 years. Staffing shortages have increasingly been getting worse," Lutz explained.


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While firefighter recruitment and retention continue to be significant concerns, the squads understand the gravity of their duty to provide public safety. 

"Sometimes it gets to be a heavy burden to bear… I don’t know right now that there’s any way that the burden will be lessened by any plan that’s going down," Lutz said.

The new plan goes into effect on July 1 and will continue through October. At that time, the PGFD will reevaluate and determine the next steps.

Check out the summer staffing changes and reallocation memo below: