Rural, Suburban and Urban Volunteer Fire and Rescue Departments? Prince William County Has Them All!
We often say in Prince William County, “We have it all.” While realtors think of convenient locations and incredible amenities, volunteer firefighters and first responders interpret that a bit differently. By “all,” we mean we’ve got rural, suburban and urban areas to serve and protect — and PWC is a big county! With 336 square miles, Prince William is the second largest and fourth fastest growing county in the Commonwealth of Virginia by population. This makes for a whole host of challenges that we have to be prepared for every single day.
But as volunteers in the Prince William County Fire and Rescue System (PWCFRS), we love to be prepared, and we are prepared to serve every area in our county. Check out some of what we encounter and consider based on locations of our stations.
Rural Volunteer Fire and Rescue Stations
Our “country” stations are somewhat spread out. All PWCFRS teams are trained to be efficient, which is important when you consider a volunteer department like Nokesville that has to cover 72 square miles with its two stations. What’s interesting about an area like this is that some sections, such as Bristow, have become suburbanized, but there is still a large portion of farmland and woods nearby. So, when it comes to structures, we encounter some shopping centers and businesses, but we serve more homes in these areas. Our access to water may be challenging sometimes, too, but our training allows us to address these concerns. Pre-planning water sources and tankers ensure we are prepared to fight fires.
Suburban Volunteer Fire and Rescue Stations
Suburban stations offer a mix of our urban and rural settings. We service many homes and apartment buildings, while also serving businesses. Suburban stations cover smaller areas, due to population density. Access to water is less of a problem with PWC’s expansive network of fire hydrants in neighborhoods and commercial areas. There are many condo and townhome communities in our suburban areas, however, which can prove challenging when a fire breaks out because properties are joined. Our volunteer firefighters in suburban areas of the county are much needed, just as they are in other areas. Last year, for example, Stonewall Jackson Volunteer Fire Department responded to over 5,000 calls for service.
Urban Volunteer Fire and Rescue Stations
Our “urban” stations serve several small, citified areas, such as Woodbridge. Because all our volunteers train to handle taller structures and fires in densely populated areas, we’re ready to meet the demands of more urbanized areas. And if you’ve been in the more urban areas of our county, you’ve seen the fire hydrants on almost every corner. Access to water is not typically an issue.
Consistency is Key
Though there are some differences between stations based on location, it’s important to note that all response times in the county are targeted to be the same for any type of emergency. Traffic is always a concern in Northern Virginia, but our volunteers learn to navigate that and use the best routes.
The training our firefighters and EMS teams receive at the initial levels are the same throughout the county, too, but depending on the area, skills may be applied differently based on the hazard at hand. We also have special ops teams and training that vary across the county, but our volunteers’ abilities to deal with the same types of special incidents and the opportunities for all volunteers to get the same training are consistent. Consistent training and opportunity mean we are able to provide skilled, effective, efficient service to those who need us, and we’re pretty proud of that!
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter or EMT, find out more now! Contact us to learn about the many opportunities volunteering provides. Come join the rewarding family of volunteers at PWFRS today!
Are you looking for a change? Here in Prince William County, the volunteer departments provide fire and emergency medical services to the County’s citizens and visitors during weekday evenings, weekends and holidays. Prince William County’s volunteer fire and rescue departments are seeking motivated individuals who have the desire to make a difference and provide an important service to their community. Learn more now.
- Posted by ATW
- On October 18, 2017
- 0 Comments