May 2020 Meeting

MCVFRA Executive Director’s Report

May 2020 Membership Meeting  

Submitted by: Eric N. Bernard

Brief summary on issues, items, and action from the Executive Director:

1.       Collective Bargaining – which finished February 27, 2020 for our 6th contract rejected at Council this past month two times. Required additional bargaining for many evenings and weekends with our CBA team and County.

2.       Discipline – new action taken by Fire Chief required our second ever grievance + matters continue at the MSPB and with the CAO with our on-going grievances.

3.       Budgets at Council – all meetings are virtual. On Thursday, May 21, 2020 Council approved a “continuity of services” budget with NO CBA increases for any unions or the MCVFRA. We are analyzing over 200+ pages of resolutions and budget appropriations on affects to the MCVFRA and options.

4.       Reopener on COVID – bargaining continues for past month on incentives, protections and benefits for volunteers serving during crisis.

5.       NVFC Spring meeting – virtual meeting two weeks ago with significant actions on COVID and federal law changes, benefits, SAFE, AFG and budgets.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT- President Goodloe

  • Invited to and participated in numerous weekly conference call meetings with the CAO, Union Presidents and County Department Heads.
  • Conducted on-going conference call meetings with the Fire Chief, with the MCFRS Fire Chief, Division Chief Kelley, A/C Howard, Executive Director Bernard, Program Manager Riffe and Assistant Program Manager White
  • Held other discussions with the Fire Chief as required.
  • Conducted 2-3 weekly work calls a week with Division Chief Kelley. 
  • Sent/received numerous emails and researched topics, as necessary.
  • Interacted daily with MCVFRA via conference calls, direct telephone calls, and emails, as necessary to conduct MCVFRA business.
  • This includes responses to County Officials; the Fire Chief and his staff; and LFRD Presidents and Chiefs on a variety topics related to AMOSS/EMST, contract, recruitment, VBOC and other LFRD items.
  • Performed on-going research needed for documentation on a variety of issues.

May 2020

  • Reviewed County Council documentation and watched County Council meetings pertinent to the MCVFRA and held discussions with some County Council members concerning the operating budget, stipends for volunteers and the contract.
  • Continued to work with the Fire Chief on opposing his “Disruptive Symbol “policy issue.
  • The position take in opposition to his policy is that:
  • It is far to open.
  • It is believed due to that openness that it goes against the Bill of Right’s that provide the freedom of expression. 
  • It must be considered “disruptive” if it is so stated by law. 
  • The opposition in no way intends to say illegal or items such as spelled out in EEO law should be permitted.
  • The concern is the there is no legal definition of “disruptive” and the provision of having one of the Fire Chief’s officers to utilize his/her personal opinion just based on an objection cannot be accepted.  
  • That certainly cooperative understanding needs to be in place, but, without proper legal requirements in place it is a dangerous and improper requirement. 

This is out for N & O and so far two LFRD officials have responded and share the same concerns as cited above. 

Program Manager and Assistant Program Manager Activities

Richard Riffe: March 20 – May 28, 2020

  • Amoss and EMST Funds
  • FY2021 AMOSS Applications have been sent to the LFRD Presidents and Chiefs.
  • Amoss and EMST Budget Agreements received from MCFRS, distributed to LFRD Presidents, tracked, and returned to MCFRS once signed by LFRD Presidents.
  • Conducted follow up with the MCFRS on previously submitted 2020 reallocation requests.
  • Received Board of Directors’ approval of BCCRS request to amend previously submitted Amoss and EMST applications and associated reallocation requests, and transmitted the requests to the MCFRS.
  • Received Board of Director’s approval of Hyattstown VFD reallocation request and transmitted the reallocation request to the MCFRS.
  • Reviewed the EMST Budget Agreements prior to their transmitted to the LFRDs.
  • Responded to LFRD and MCFRS inquiries, as required.
  • MCVFRA Policies and Procedures
  • Completed the review of all current MCVFRA Policies and Procedures: both approved and drafted.
  • Drafted new and/or revised MCVFRA policies for future review by MCVFRA President and Board of Directors.

  • Assembled receipts for Treasurer related to County reimbursements for VBOC
  • Commenced review of MCVFRA Recruitment efforts for 2019.
  • Coordinated activation of remote access capability for MCVFRA office computers to assist the Temporary Teleworking Program.
  • Mailed MCVFRA payments and other correspondence, as necessary.
  • Received invoices and credit card statements for review by MCVFRA Treasurer.
  • Received and distributed MCVFRA mail, as necessary.

Recruitment and Retention: Satchel Kornfeld

  • VBOC
  • MCVFRA launched an online VBOC program (VBOC-E) on Friday, May 15th.
  • 94 people enrolled in VBOC-E with 56 individuals successfully completing the Blackboard registration.
  • This on-line course was successful developed thanks to VBOC Coordinator Angelica Mufarrij’s dedication and hard work. Her efforts in creating the online content for the VBOC-E course were incredible.
  • VBOC-E is set to finish by June 12. If the situation has not normalized by then, the MCVFRA is prepared to start a second VBOC-E program on Friday, June 19 at 1900.
  • As with the previous VBOC course, MCVFRA will be enrolling anyone who has submitted an application and been unable to proceed with their respective membership process.
  • Once normal operations resume, in-person education will take place for those students that have a complete background check and physical with the actual dates to be determined.
  • VBOC 20-2, a regular in-person session, is postponed until the situation normalizes.
  • Recruitment Inquiries and Applications
  • April 2020 had 113 leads with 31 applications forwarded to LFRDs.

The MCVFRA Recruitment and Retention Office is here to support operations as they stand and answer any questions that arise. Feel free to reach out at 240-543-9454 or

Vice President’s report: Johnie Roth

  • Participated in several of the Board Meetings of the MCVFRA
  • Attended and welcomed the new members at the last few graduations of VBOC before the Coronavirus Pandemic began. I also attended the last Firefighter and EMT Graduation held at the PSTA before the Pandemic began.
  • Worked with the MSFA on several issues regarding the Fire and Rescue Services:
  • The possible legislation proposed in January regarding the funding to volunteer departments that have lost income due to COVID 19. Other proposed legislation would

be dealing with volunteers that had been tested positive for COVID 19 and any benefits.

  • Served as a member of the MSFA Steering Committee in regards to the 2020 phases of this year’s convention. 
  • Directed the MSFA Cancer Support Committee to reschedule the annual walk in Annapolis, Maryland to Sunday, September 20, 2020. 
  • Worked with the Ways and Means Committee to sell, distribute, and collect $10,000 raffle tickets from members and member companies as there have been many lost opportunities due to the Pandemic. 
  • Participated in my home company activities including Drive By Birthday, Anniversary, and High School Graduation Parades throughout the first due areas of my company.
  • Participated in numerous conference calls and teleconferences regarding both Montgomery County and Maryland State Fire and Rescue activities regarding the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Respectfully submitted,

Johnie Roth, Jr.

Vice President MCVFRA

Exec Committee Representative Report- Chief Sutton

  • Due to the recent Covid-19 Pandemic many MSFA events have been postponed or cancelled.
  • The 2020 Ocean City Convention has been postponed.  The event will be rescheduled (2 day event) for a later date and will be held in a centralized location in the state.
  • The following departments still need to submit their 2020 Credentials:

Gaithersburg Washington Grove                  Glen Echo                   

Germantown                                              Hyattstown

  • MSFA elections will be done electronically. 
  • The following departments submittednegative financial impact of cancelled fundraisers:

Cabin John Park                                         Sandy Spring

Damascus                                                 Takoma Park

Kensington                                                 Upper Montgomery County


  • $10,000 Raffle ticket stubs and money due June 1.  Submit to Mitch Vocke, PO Box 401, Jarrettsville MD, 21084.
  • MSFA Cancer Support Committee has rescheduled the annual walk to Sunday, September 20, 2020

Thank you,

Chief Buddy Sutton

MSFA Executive Committee Member

Treasurer’s Report– To be given orally at meeting

Secretary’s report– Meeting Minutes will be sent out

Division of Volunteer Services

Division Chief Mike Kelley

Report to the MCVFRA

May 2020

COVID-19 – The pandemic’s effect on the LFRDs has been substantial and the staffing provided for the surge units placed in service as well as the everyday station by the volunteers has been nothing short of phenomenal since early April. From the County Executive on down to the Fire Chief and the Division of Volunteer Services, the efforts and accomplishments of the LFRDs are truly appreciated. Special thanks are also due to those LFRDs which have voluntarily loaned their vehicles for ALS Chase cars and hospital decontamination. The surge plan is being constantly monitored and is reevaluated each week. There is an expectation that we will begin to roll back both the extra staffing and station access restrictions by the middle of June. Weekly updates are being sent from either Chief Kinsley or myself.

Applicant Processing – It is unknown when we will resume scheduling FROMS physicals and fingerprint appointments but as stated above, by mid-June we hope to have re-opened for scheduling. It is expected that all available FROMS time slots will be reserved for volunteer applicants to accommodate the backlog of new members. Likewise, there should be extended fingerprint appointment hours.

Interim Promotions – As a reminder, FCGO 20-02, which allowed the return of former members and waiving of certain classes and procedures, will expire once the Governor declares the Maryland State of Emergency has ended. Those members will then have 30 days to sign up for the waived classes in order to retain their interim rank on the IECS.

PSTA Training – Training Chief Beth Sanford has assured that all training classes will be held – no classes are being eliminated. Please refer to her May 5th & 13th emails for additional information about training resumption. A couple training highlights:

  • MIEMSS will automatically extend June 30 EMT expirations to December 31; no action is needed.
  • Spring EMT classes which were suspended are restarting; all students have been contacted.

Ruthie’s Retirement – As everyone knows, Ruthie is set to retire on June 30. We are now in the final stages of selecting a new LOSAP administrator and we hope to advertise for Ruthie’s position in the next couple of weeks. I am hopeful that we can honor Ruthie at the June MCVFRA meeting.

If there are any questions I will do my best to answer them during or soon after the meeting.

Please email the Secretary, Christina Mage, if you would like a separate attachment with these reports to be sent you via email