It’s getting down to the wire on the planned permanent July 1 closings of three fire companies in Baltimore, Maryland. Union officials and others have been making the case that recent fires involving the units on the chopping block prove that these fire companies are extremely important to the safety of the citizens and city firefighters. One of those stories from WMAR-TV, above, looks at this issue in connection with the five-alarm fire in Fells Point on Monday.
WBFF-TV looks at another aspect of this battle over closing companies and the Fells Point fire. It focuses on the online forum run by the Baltimore Fire Officers Association, IAFF Local 964. Specifically, a thread titled What a Shame!, that contains very passionate comments quite critical of fellow firefighters and officers who may have responded as volunteers, or had connections to suburban volunteer fire companies that provided mutual aid to Baltimore City during the five-alarm fire. Those postings believe such assistance undermines the work to save the three companies. The TV station reports Chief Jim Clack says the comments are under investigation.
Some Baltimore City firefighters criticized some of their own for using Baltimore County vehicles to respond to the fire. The city called on the county and other outside help during the fire, even though the department is now considering shutting down three fire companies because of budget cuts.
City Fire Chief, Jim Clack, says mutual aid is something the city has been practicing for decades. He says it’s important to maintain good relationships with other jurisdiction, not just for safety, but for many other reasons.
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