|End Of Year Message From Chief Nanna|
|By Firefighter/Board Member Steve Hailey|
|December 29, 2017|
December 29, 2017
To All Our Valued Members
From Chief Nick Nanna
I would just like to take a minute to send out year-end greetings, recap the past year, and lay out my hopes and plans for the New Year. First off, Joanne and I want to wish every member, their friends, and their families our warmest and most heartfelt wishes for a safe, happy, and prosperous new year. It is our hope that all of your many sacrifices in service to our citizens will be rewarded with the blessings so due to all of you.
2017 was a challenging year for all of us. I was promoted to Chief in relief of a living legend in the Fire Service, Miles Young, who has dedicated most of his adult life in service to Prince William County. These are huge fire boots to fill and while I can never fully replace him, I hope that I am at least furthering the strides he made in many decades of service.
In 2017 we managed to maintain superior staffing for our response units, exceeding 96% staffing in almost every month. We continued to join members, and trained and elevated current members to new levels of leadership and tactical performance. Our Associate members continued to support the Operational staff with the backup and resources that keep the big red trucks rolling.
Unfortunately we lost a lot of loved ones this past year. They will all remain in our hearts, and we will strive to hear their voices of encouragement in the wail of our sirens as we dash off to service in their memories.
2017 bought significant changes in the structure of the Volunteer Fire Service in Prince William. I remain skeptical that these changes are for the better, but I will continue to do my very best to implement them while protecting the status and respect that this department has earned over almost seven decades of selfless service. Our members are working hard to meet each new challenge given us from the county leadership. We also lost our long time partner, the Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad. It was sad to see them cease operations, but we can be content in knowing that we helped them as much as we could. We can take a lesson in the manner they were disestablished and vow to not let that happen to us.
In all of the good and bad over this past year it is all of our members working together that got us through. Together we laughed, cried, and most importantly, we served.
• Staffing: Operational staffing is our first and most important objective. When we maintain superior staffing with qualified personnel we establish a solid position for the long term survival of our department.
• Training: In order to provide this superior service we must continue training to learn new evolving procedures, maintain established standards of service, and build teamwork and coordination.
• Recruiting: We must continue to recruit and retain new members. We must do a better job in onboarding new people and getting them through the Fire Academy and on our apparatus in a staffing role. We have to expand our base of talent and provide the leadership and mentorship to keep them moving forward, interested, engaged, and excited to be a member. We need to continue to diversify our membership and provide the unique opportunity for volunteer service to everyone in the community.
We will not doubt face many challenges next year. Uniform Rank Structure compliance, increased staffing requirements for Emergency Medical Technicians, upkeep and maintenance of our two fire stations, and the care and stewardship over our equipment which becomes more and more expensive every year. We will be challenged to identify and mentor talent to prepare them to move into positions of more responsibility so we always have fresh blood and bright ideas addressing problems. These are the challenges we can see ahead, I have no doubt we will meet these challenges; what keeps me up at night are the problems that we can’t foresee. When these pop up as they will inevitably will, I will need each and every member to attack the issues as a unified team.
So let me close by passing my deepest gratitude and thanks to each and every member. Associate or Operations, Recruit or long time Dragon Slayer, each has put a shoulder to the wheel and made my job just that much easier. I will appreciate your continued support in 2018.
Nicholas F. Nanna