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MCFRS and PGFD’s numbers are up. Monday is the day.

Prince George’s County announced it a while back, and had planned to start the new numbering system at the beginning of October. But PGFD delayed its changeover, and is entering this brave new world with its neighbor, Montgomery County. Here is the press release from the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service:

National Capital Region First Responders Get New Numbers

Montgomery and Prince George’s County Implement Regional Numbering System

Beginning on Monday, October 15, 2007 the first phase of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) unit numbering system for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) and the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department (PGFD) will be implemented. This transition is in compliance with the National Capital Region (NCR) Council of Governments (COG) Apparatus/Unit renumbering. This system is based on the assignment of an individual numeric jurisdictional identifier for each major geographic jurisdiction within MWCOG.

Traditional identification of fire/EMS units, command officers, and support personnel will be changed over a period of the next few weeks and months throughout the region. Soon all Montgomery County fire, rescue and EMS units will identify themselves with our jurisdictional identifier of “7”. All Prince George’s County Fire/EMS units will utilize jurisdictional identifier of “8”.

For example, the paramedic (ALS) unit that responds out of Silver Spring Fire Station 1 which used to be identified as Medic 19, starting Monday, that same unit will use the radio identifier Medic701, seven (7) related to Montgomery County and oh-one (01) associated with fire station #1. While at the same time, the basic life support (BLS) ambulance from the same station, formerly known as Ambulance 18, will be identified as Ambulance701.

While the initial change may sound confusing, the NCR MWCOG renumbering system will assist in the inter-operational capabilities and regional response of units dispatched outside of their jurisdictions and assist incident commanders in readily identifying out of county apparatus that respond mutual aid into Montgomery County (7), Prince Georges (8), the District of Columbia (0) and Northern Virginia. The jurisdictional identifiers are also used to identify the ‘trunked’ radio resources assigned to each jurisdiction in the radios. The agencies within MWCOG share programming across the ‘trunked’ radio systems in the region to facilitate interoperability and these identifiers are used to facilitate identification of, and navigation to, those resources in the mobile and portable radios.

Unit numbering is based on the assignment of numeric jurisdictional identifiers to each major political jurisdiction within MWCOG. These assignments are as follows:

0 – Washington, DC
1 – Arlington County
2 – City of Alexandria
3 – Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
4 – Fairfax County
5 – Prince William County
6 – Loudoun County
7 – Montgomery County
8 – Prince George’s County
9 – Frederick County

Within Montgomery County, the MWCOG numbering will be implemented in two (2) phases, the first of which begins Monday, October 15, 2007 to include all first response units from all local fire and rescue stations and Duty Operations Chief (DOC) level and operations personnel under the DOC. Within the next six (6) months all other staff and support units (and personnel) will be introduced into the regional numbering scheme.

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