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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Comprehensive Equity Assessment



Montgomery County (Maryland) is a majority-minority jurisdiction with over one million people. It is the most affluent and populous jurisdiction of Maryland. The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) provides maximum protection of lives, property, and the environment. MCFRS employs approximately 1,200 career firefighters, 900 active volunteer firefighters, and 82 professional staff members. The FY21 budget was $224,995,408 with budgeted overtime costs of $18.3 million.


MCFRS and the Montgomery County Government contracted with the Academy to provide a comprehensive equity assessment of the MCFRS. The Academy:

  1. Reviewed the hiring, training, promotional, and evaluation practices/processes of the MCFRS.
  2. Reviewed the understanding and knowledge of MCFRS personnel on community characteristics, and the culture and diversity that exists.
  3. Administered an anonymous survey to all MCFRS personnel (career and volunteer) to identify disparities in achieving fair and equitable outcomes for all.
  4. Reviewed the MCFRS external citizen complaint process looking for patterns or trends in citizen complaints, case processing, and outcomes.
  5. Reviewed the impact of emergency service delivery and non-emergency calls for service in diverse communities.

Click the button below to view the Final Report.

Final Report


The Academy offers 11 recommendations. The recommendations provide a blueprint to assist MCFRS in its diversity, equity, and inclusion journey and to achieve the County’s racial equity vision. It will take time to implement these recommendations. The recommendations are organized into two groups; Building the Foundation and Sustaining Momentum. While the recommendations and actions are time-bound, they are not entirely prescriptive. Rather, they are offered as a high-level roadmap. The Study Team recognizes that some of these may overlap and need to adjust as progress is made over time. Further, many activities suggested for Building the Foundation will need to continue in the Sustaining Momentum phase.


If you have any questions or comments regarding the study, please contact, Brenna Isman, Director of Academy Studies (

Study Fellows