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Berlin Fire Department tells its story. Posts details of claim defunding by town is control issue & not sexual harassment.

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On Tuesday, linked and excerpted news coverage of a dispute between town officials in Berlin on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the Berlin Fire Department. On Tuesday, the Mayor and Council of the Town of Berlin voted to cut ties with the department and cease providing funds. The loss is about $600,000 or a third of the fire company’s budget. Town officials cited continued harassment of career EMS workers and the fire department’s stance that it was the sole employer of the EMS crews.

The Berlin Fire Department denies that the real issue concerns allegations homosexual slurs were used against an EMS worker and instead made the case Tuesday through its attorney that this was an issue of the town wanting to have full control over the EMS crews.

Both the town and the fire department have posted detailed statements about the positions staked out in this battle. The town’s comes in the form of the press release sent out on Tuesday that is now posted on the Town of Berlin website. The Berlin Fire Department has a document titled “Setting the Record Straight” that you can read here or on the department’s website.

Berlin Fire Department: Setting the Record Straight

Town of Berlin press release

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Comments - Add Yours

  • My two cents

    Sounds like since the town wants to pull the funding with out providing proper information or performing an actual investigation that the fire company should not allow the Town’s EMS Employees to stay in the fire department’s building or operate out of the fire department’s apparatus with supplies provided by the department. I know it doesn’t help the problem but the town created the problem in wanting to control ems. Guess now they should provide all of the above at a much higher cost then the 600K worth of funding the town pulled.

    • RJ(in florida)

      you got it, sounds like full disclosure is needed here because something is missing. i seems that the town had its spinmaster do his ir her’s thing and disclose fininicals to get the people on their side early

      if i were the fire department, i’d ask for an independant hearing and investigation from an outside source AND if the town refuses that idea, then you would know the alligations are false because they did state that they want specific members gone…(why cant the taxpayers withold tax money when governmenrt does crap like that)…since the town provides EMS. they still gotta do it, the ambulance just wont be in the firehouse and will be housed someplace else at taxpayer expense

  • Alan

    If i’m reading this correctly, the EMS personnel are NOT town employees, but BFC employees that are leased to the town for purposes of being eligible for the Maryland state employee retirement benefit program. So, I do not believe the town actually has a dog in this fight.
    The town wants to control the scheduling of the personnel, because they are leased to them and they feel that the city manager has the right to the work schedule for town employees, which if they were actual town employees and not contractors (which is essentially what they are) the town would be correct in.
    BFC is right, IMO, that they are best suited to know when to schedule the EMS personnel, based on the need for them, and when the volunteers are not available than the town manager who has no clue how to run a fire company.