Under the direction of Fire Chief Tom Carr, the Montgomery County (MD) Fire and Rescue Service, an Accredited Agency, is a full spectrum life safety agency protecting nearly 1 million people who live and work in Maryland???s most populous jurisdiction. The MCFRS is a combination system (career/volunteer), operating with a budget of about $200 million, comprised of over 1300 career uniformed personnel and professional civilian staff and an equal number of volunteers, nearly half of whom actively participate in emergency response.
There are over forty fire and rescue facilities, including a 56 acre training academy, state-of-the-art communication facility, as well as thirty-four (34) community fire and rescue stations strategically located throughout Montgomery County's 500 square miles in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
The combined Charleston Fire Department and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue service training will involve a newly fashioned, state-of-the-art Command Development Center located at the Montgomery County (MD) Public Safety Training Academy (PSTA). This new "virtual reality" simulator training center is one of only a few in the United States and the only such facility east of the Mississippi River. It also includes what is believed to be the largest fire and rescue tactical "table-top" venue in the nation. Participants will be some of the first to use the Command Competency Center and learn about methodology and the process for a competency program.
Montgomery County command officers will be joined by Charleston Assistant Chief Larry Garvin and Battalion Chiefs Joe Ackerman, Buddy Aytes, and Tommy Thomas. Hands-on training will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The Charleston Fire Department will be sending groups of four chiefs to Montgomery County for the next six weeks.