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UPDATED: Trouble in Prince George’s County, MD. Chief & Morningside VFD in battle over ambulance. Morningside tells its story.

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The Morningside VFD is now telling its side of the fight the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Chief Marc Bashoor over staffing and providing ambulance service:

The Morningside Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. (MVFD) has received an unlawful mandate from Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department (PGFD) Chief Marc Bashoor to house a PGFD owned and operated ambulance at its Fire Station.  This comes as a result of a recent collective bargaining agreement signed between the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and the Professional Firefighters and Paramedic Union, Local 1619, which requires the county to up staff volunteer fire stations with additional unnecessary salaried employees.

Over the past 10 months, the volunteers of the MVFD have voiced their concerns about the waste of county taxpayers money and resources at fire stations with adequate volunteer staffing, while other fire stations requests for staffing go unfulfilled.  The current staffing model that has been in place at the MVFD since the PGFD’s Ambulance arrived in 2006 has resulted in the savings of millions of dollars to county taxpayers.  As a founding principle of MVFD, volunteers are here to provide services free to the community.  Unfortunately, the new union collective bargaining agreement mandate any station with 2 salaried county employees be increased to 4 salaried county employees, or have none. 

The Morningside VFD’s position is based on the following facts:

1.) MVFD was chartered in 1944 to provide fire suppression services to the community of Morningside and adjacent communities.

2.) The MVFD does not currently, or has ever owned and operated an Ambulance.  However, MVFD has and will continue to provide first response emergency medical services.

3.) In 2006, while operating in good faith, the MVFD partnered with the PGFD to allow the PGFD to house a PGFD Owned and Operated Ambulance at the MVFD Fire Station.

4.) A Station Policy that affirms the agreement and was written by a County Fire Department Official, dated May 13, 2006 states that “It should neither be assumed nor expected that MVFD members will participate in the operation of Ambulance 279.  The responsibility lies solely on the career shift personnel assigned, detailed or working at Fire Station 27”.

5.) Prince Georges County entered into a new agreement with the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Union, Local 1619, without consulting the stakeholders that would be directly affected by this unilateral change.  This new agreement explicitly prohibits the current staffing model that has been successfully utilized at the MVFD Fire Station.

6.) The MVFD never requested or mandated the PGFD Ambulance housed at its Fire Station be placed out of service.  The MVFD has only requested the PGFD Ambulance be redeployed to an adjacent station, where the unit responds to the majority of its calls.  This request would allow the PGFD to keep the unit in-service, without incurring the proposed unnecessary additional costs and salaried positions of compliance with the new agreement.

7.) Nearly 7 out of 10 emergencies responded to by the PGFD Ambulance housed at the MVFD Fire Station are outside of the MVFD’s Primary Response Area.

8.) PGFD is mandating Volunteer Fire Departments to staff County Owned Ambulances that they in turn bill taxpayers for.

9.) The MVFD will not staff a PGFD Owned Ambulance that they in turn bill for services rendered, it is against our founding principals as volunteers.

10.) Currently 70% of the funded County Salary Positions assigned to the MVFD Fire Station are vacant.  Just in the month of July, the PGFD accrued over 1,000 hours of overtime to staff the funded positions at the MVFD Fire Station.  This is only part of the 1.1million dollars the PGFD paid for over 21,000 hours of overtime to operationally staff the department during the month of July.  This will only compound the Prince Georges County fiscal deficit in fiscal year 2014, which is already in excess of 152 million dollars.

11.) Conversely to the County’s rapidly escalating overtime cost, the MVFD has provided over 25,000 man-hours of staffing which equates to more than 1.7 million dollars in taxpayer’s savings so far this year.

12.) The MVFD has been actively seeking a resolution to this matter since November 21, 2012.  We have been unable to reach an amicable agreement in these matters and feel that we have been stonewalled by County Officials.

EARLIER

The following is a press release from the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department :

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department has been notified by one of it’s volunteer corporations that the basic life support transport unit (ambulance) will no longer be welcomed at their station, and will be placed out of service within the next week.   

The Morningside Volunteer Fire Company, Inc., Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Station 827, in a written notice from their lawyer, stated the ambulance at their station would need to be removed or redeployed by the County on August 19, 2013.  

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor sent a letter today to Morningside Volunteer Chief Michael White ordering him to keep the ambulance in service.  This action came after attorneys representing the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department notified the County in a letter (entire letter below) dated August 13, 2013, that “after careful deliberations the membership of MVFD has voted and has decided to keep the date of August 19, 2013 at 0700 by which Ambulance 827 will no longer be authorized on it’s property and should be redeployed.”  After reading the letter Fire Chief Bashoor said, “Their decision will compromise the safety of our citizens and residents, which I will not stand for it.” 

This situation is a result of “staffing” brought about by a recent change in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the County and the International Association of Firefighters Local 1619.  This new agreement affects staffing at stations where only 2 career firefighter/medics are on duty.  The Morningside Station currently has 4 career staff on duty from 7:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.  At all other times, 2 career firefighter/medics remain on duty throughout the 24-hour shift.  The new CBA creates 2 options—either up staff the station with 4 career personnel around the clock, or have the 2 firefighters removed from the 24-hour shift.  Removal of firefighters from the 24-hour shift will require volunteers to staff the apparatus during nights, weekends and holidays.  There are 8 other stations affected by this agreement, with no other adverse actions being taken at this time.  

The Morningside Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. has to date declined the 4-person crew around the clock, which means the 2-person crew at night, weekends and holidays would be eliminated, effective October 1, 2013 (date of the 3rd phase of staffing implementation).  The Morningside Station would then be required to staff the ambulance and suppression units with volunteers.  The volunteer corporation has advised that volunteers will not staff the ambulance at the Morningside station, and therefore the ambulance would be placed out of service and removed from the station on August 19, 2013.  

Fire Chief Bashoor had members of his command staff meet with the leadership of the Morningside Station on several occasions, in an attempt to work through this situation.  There has been no progress or change in Morningside’s stance.  Fire Chief Bashoor has ordered the Volunteer Chief, Michael White, to leave the ambulance in service, allowing it to serve the community and be staffed by Volunteer and/or Career staffing.  

In 2012, the Morningside ambulance responded to 3,627 calls for service.  This is the 10th busiest basic life support transport unit in the county.  The loss of this unit could create an estimated wait time of about 5 to 10 minutes for another transport unit to respond to the scene of an incident in the Morningside community.    

Prince George’s County is the largest and busiest combination (paid, volunteer, civilian) Fire/EMS Departments in the Country.  In 2012, the department responded on 135, 383 calls for service.  Of that figure, nearly 80 percent were EMS-related.  

There are 45 Fire/EMS Stations located throughout Prince George’s County.  Only 2 of these stations operate without an EMS transport unit, and they are both all-volunteer stations.  There are 5 all-volunteer stations that continue to staff and respond with ambulances.  Most Fire/EMS stations have some form of combined career and volunteer staffing.   

There will be consequences to any actions that attempt to place the ambulance out of service at Morningside.  The station’s Volunteer Fire Chief has been notified of actions that will be taken if they move forward with plans to remove the ambulance.  Actions being considered include, but not limited to, demotion of the volunteer chief and response of fire apparatus limited to areas where they are considered first due.  

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor will continue to work with county and Morningside leaders to resolve this matter.  The goal is to prevent any adverse effect on the Morningside community and surrounding areas.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Anonymous

    Pride? Honor? Tradition? What a joke, this goes against the true values of any Fire Department Company. They are failing the citizens of the County who pay taxes to support their station. I doubt this was outlined in the grant they were recently awarded.

    • Anonymous

      Sure they could keep the ambo, then never place it in service. They would be restricted to the first due, be a burden on surrounding companies, and be a disservice to the public. Hey seat pleasant does it all the time. Why can’t they? Oh wait that’s right they never had an ambo till the county put one in approx. 10-11 years ago. Originally 7-3 mon- fri and it couldn’t be kept on property out side those times. Then about 2 years of that they got 2 shift guys for the ambo. I guess they are to good for the ambo.

  • Lots of questions….

    Dave, how will this affect 33? 33 already went to court to not have to staff the Amb. I would think the saem court opinion would apply to 27. Is the county forceing 33 to take 4 around the clock now? Are they pulling the staffing for A833 and making the vollies staff it? is A833 going out of service?

    • Anonymous

      Medic 830 is being assigned as Medic 833…Based on the union contract a medic unit is exempt from the 4 career personnel in a station. What the media is missing is A833 is being replaced by a Medic unit, in theory thats an ambulance thats being removed from Landover. The medic unit will not respond on BLS calls, so basic calls such as sick people or vehicle collisions, the citizens will be waiting longer for a transport unit. Why isn’t everyone up in arms about this?

  • CaliTruck

    These big bad firemen should be embarrassed, I hope they get shut down for good, it looks like there are plenty of stations in that area that could pick up there slack.

  • Retired Chief

    How many chief’s do they have in that county? There can only be one. The others should be assistant, deputy, battalion, division, etc.

    • Anonymous

      Aprox 130 volunteer fire chiefs. Chief, A chief, B chief. All trying to be in control of there own little area. Yes there is one county fire chief with deputy chiefs, assistant chiefs, battalion chiefs.But most are on duty once a week depending their shift. So 9 to 10 a day.

    • Pete P

      Guess your not from a combined system like PG. county. Each station has a chief,and line officers. The county F/D has a chief ECT. Vol. chiefs take turns as batt. officers at night,and the county covers the day. Vols own a lot of the stations,and a lot of the apparatus. The county chief made a deal with the paid union that each station had to have 4 career personal or none. So 2 to run the Amb. wont happen. The county charges citizens for Amb. calls. Not a vol. way. So if they move the Amb. a couple miles away. Station 27 will still respond to EMS calls in their first due area with the pumper. By the time assesment is done. The transport unit will be there. Plus they save 4 salaries around the clock.

      • Anonymous

        Correct me if i’m wrong, but an all volunteer staffed ambulance, owned by the county or not, is eligible for “Volunteer Reimbursement.” And if charging for services provided is “Not a vol. way.” than why does 33 charge the citizens for vehicle extrications??

  • Tisk Tisk

    http://www.morningsidevfd27.com/sitecontent/index/page/Missions

    Here is the link to the MVFD mission/vision and values. Seems to me they are now going against what they want to provide. Here it is as stated:

    Vision Statement
    The Vision of the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department is to provide emergency services to the community in the areas of fire, emergency medical services, and other incident response, provide non-emergency services to the community in the areas of public safety, fire prevention, and public affairs, and to provide an environment of inclusion to all people in the department and out in the community.

  • Tisk Tisk

    And from the looks of it. They have plenty of FF/EMT’s on their roster to include the several Live in’s. They could very easily staff the ambo. Sound like they dont want to help the community, they only want to have the glory of riding the big fire truck.

  • Barney Miller

    The PGFD has done NOTHING to help the volunteers of this County except to help them become extinct. Every initiative has made it harder to become or maintain volunteerism. They save taxpayers MILLIONS with apparatus purchases and man hours. The county should be sued by the corperations for spending money to duplicate services with career initiatives and incentives.

  • Taylordg85

    Hmmmmm the threat of apparatus being restricted and demotion of officers sounds similar to……..I got it!!!! Kentland. If the Fire Chief and his leaders feel strong about this situation then the County should change it. Lets be real people in the fire service yes we run first responder calls but how many of you would be fine if you were told instead of riding the BRT they would be putting you on a medic unit. Not everyone wants to or has the desire to be on a ambulance, including myself. I like running medicals but I wouldn’t want to be thrown in one against my will. Stay strong MVFD.

  • Anonymous

    It’s amazing these volunteer companies that refuse to provide service to its community are still around. What good are you?

    • Anonymous

      They have never said they are not providing EMS services… just not ambulance transport services. Can you read? They’ve requested the ambulance be REDEPLOYED to where it’s services will be more important.

  • Anonymous

    They are a disgrace to all volunteers. If they were truly interested in protecting their community they would put the safety of their citizens first. If you can’t place two EMT’s on an ambulance you shouldn’t be getting out the door with full staffing on a fire truck! All glory and no community service for Morningside. Shame on any volunteer who supports this type of action.

  • Anonymous

    I find it hilarious a volunteer organization is telling the County fire dept(which is probably charged with providing Fire and EMS services to the residents within in jurisdiction)NO!

    Different kind of structure then Im used too.

    Good luck

  • Anonymous

    This is what happens when you let a bunch of selfish kids dictate service delivery to the citizens.

  • Truckie

    Eye wush evrybody wood lern two spel!!

  • Pat.H

    I like how everyone is anonymos…nice backbone’s

    • Pat H.

      Tell me about it…

  • Anonymous

    To refuse to provide EMS service to the citizens is a disgrace. There was once a time when volunteering had the best interests of the citizens in mind. I guess this doesn’t matter to those who don’t live in the community they allegedly serve. I bet you won’t have trouble getting the fire truck out the door fully staffed. Shame on you for jeopardizing the safety of your citizens because you only want to run “fire” calls. If the ambulance goes so should the fire trucks.

    • Anonymous

      They are not refusing to provide First Responder EMS service, they are refusing to staff a COUNTY OWNED, and up until this time COUNTY STAFFED ambulance. Until they entered into an agreement with PGFD that stated the MVFD would NOT be responsible for staffing the ambulance, MVFD did not provide transport EMS service. The PGFD approached the leadership at MVFD and asked them for permission to place the ambulance there and staff it with career personnel. Now the IAFF has forced the county to upstaff all stations that had 2 shift personnel at night to now be staffed with 4 personnel 24 hours a day. MVFD does not need these additional county personnel, they are capable of staffing the station at night themselves. They told the county, NO, we do not need/want additional personnel. If you are taking our 2 night time shift men, than take YOUR COUNTY OWNED ambulance with you. That was it.

      • Anonymous

        No, they aren’t refusing to provide first responder services, they are just refusing to provide the citizens with the service they request most, TRANSPORTATION TO THE HOSPITAL. And if you think that the Union (Local 1619) “Forced” the County to up staff 2 man shift houses, you’re giving the Union more credit than they deserve. This is mutually beneficial to the Union and the County. It provides the Union with more positions and improved safety for their members; and it provides the County with more baby sitters on the streets to make sure the volunteers are doing what they are supposed to do…Provide the Citizens with Fire prevention/protection AND providing Emergency Medical Treatment AND Transportation.

  • Anonymous

    I support them. If the union weren’t being stupid, then they could continue to have a box. I know if I were there, I wouldn’t want to run transport BLS 24/7 365. There could possibly be days in a row where, especially if you were a live in, where all you ran was medicals. I HATE transport EMS, and I know there are many out there who feel the same way I do. I would go insane and eventually quit if I had to run on the bus everyday without getting paid. Heck I wouldn’t do it if I was getting paid. It even says that 80% of their calls are medical so if they didn’t have at least 5 volunteers ( 3 for the engine, 2 for the bus ) 24/7 then the engine would practically be out of service. I support them 100%

  • Anonymous

    It takes one day of the volunteer’s to stop riding in the whole county. Everyone take a 24 hour break. Then see what happens. Its bad for the public but the county could not handle this.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t let the door hit you in the @$$. The volunteers have already done this…its called “Tick Week” in Ocean City, MD.

      Stomping your feet and flipping over the checkers board always helps improve your image and gain public support.

  • DJ

    Awe who cares realy? So what they don’t want an ambo, the county chief told them they need to keep it. It is basically who’s junk is bigger. The county council will probably cave, won’t back the chief the paid guys on the street will be seen as the “evil doers” Because the union doesn’t and its members dont want unsupervised shift work anymore. Can’t realy blame them. The world will keep turning.

    DJ

  • John R.

    I’m happy for them for standing up to the county!!!! You all say they are doing a disservice to the residents, but none of y’all know the real reason for refusing 4 paid guys around the clock. They come in and take control of the volunteer firehouse not allowing volunteers to drive or ride the seat even though some have the same rank and training. It’s all an attempt to run out the volunteers and take over. This isn’t the only place this is happening several firehouses are having the same battle. So I give an attaboy the 27. Call it what you want I call it Volunteer pride!!!

  • JJohns1

    The volunteers in that county have become such a joke. service before self…hahaha!

  • OldVollie

    It’s sad to see what has happened to this County. I was once a proud volunteer who served my community. Now, all I see is selfishness. sad.

  • Nick

    There is obviously a power move being played here. The union is betting on the fact that the volunteers will not want to staff so thereby requiring four paid personnel for 24 hours. The crazy part about this is that while this increases your need for manning it also drives up the cost of service.

    In order to fulfil the requirements if every station went four paid for 24 I am sure that PGFD would have to hire more personnel, can they afford to hire more people? I dont like to see people say no to service but this is not a great pill for them to swallow. People who dont want to run the medic are going to be forced to ride the medic and they will provide barely adequate service, or the department will take four people for 24 and begin a decline in needed volunteers. Good luck to both sides.

  • labagg

    All the ambulance will do is burn the volunteers out, but maybe thats what the ivory tower wants.

  • bgbootylvr

    IM NOT ESCARED TO PUT MY NAME DOWN PAT H. MY COMMENT STARTED WITH-I FIND IT HILARIOUS.

  • Bullets

    No reason why a volunteer fire company should be required to provide medical service, just because you force them together doesnt mean they mix. Its like orange juice and toothpaste

    Why cant they provide paid staffing for the ambulance?

    • Pete P

      Because the career unions contract says 4 or 0 Thats selfish

  • 0 cool

    Awe the volunteers don’t want to ride the ambo.. That’s okay you don’t have to…you can have 4 career personnel around the clock. Awe you don’t want that, you get a day crew and you ride the ambo. Deal with it it is 2013 get with the times.

  • JJ

    Barney Miller, your argument is just as old as the fire service it’s self. How does the volunteer corp’s save millions of dollars a year? The county pays for fuel, maintance, gear, along with a multitude of other things for volunteer stations. While I agree that they do save money, it is not the millions that is claimed by the volunteers. Where would the volunteer stations be if they had to pay for fuel, gear or to replace a engine in a piece of apparatus without the county’s help. America isn’t burning like it was in the 70’s and fire calls are way down. By removing the ambulance from that station will be a big disservice to that community. Why is it that Bladensburg and Branchville can provide ambulance service, but morningside feels like they don’t have to when they have more riding members than Branchville.

  • Task force 18

    “MVFD was chartered in 1944 to provide fire suppression services to the community of Morningside and adjacent communities.”

    Says nothing about providing EMS services now does it.

    • PG Wheelman

      “The Vision of the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department is to provide emergency services to the community in the areas of fire, emergency medical services…”

      It’s in their vision statement. Same website that you’re looking at.

  • Dickey

    Wow, I think this is horrible. Refusing to serve the community and putting your people at risk….goes against everything we stand for. A “volunteer” organization only wanting to “volunteer” when they want to. So some people don’t want to work on the ambulance. That’s fine, you don’t have to. The full time guys will do it then. Or find other volunteers that want to serve their community.

    A full time crew is increased service. If you don’t like it you can always “un-volunteer.”

  • Another Dave

    So let the county put 4 career people in there 24-7 for the ambulance. When a call come’s in put all 4 career people on the ambulance to run the call. Problem solved.

    • Just another firefighter

      Where would the patient ride? On top?

  • TruckDriver33

    There was a great post on here last night, and it looks like it was removed, very interesting ????

  • VolunteerSupport

    It seems to be a problem with the Local 1619 and the county agreeing on something that was NOT discussed between the major players in the county, all the volunteers!
    The career firefighters were brought into the county to assist the volunteer fire departments back in the day with staffing and since then; they have started to take over pushing the volunteers out. If you look at the big picture, the volunteers still own and operate more equipment and staff more apparatus saving millions for the county.
    Morningside is the first department to stand up and put their foot down on behalf of all volunteer departments in the county. If you really investigate this you will see that the county has pulled career staff from several volunteer fire departments leaving Hugh holes in the coverage area, it’s not just going to be 27.
    The local 1619 continues to add burden on tax payers when they bargain on agreements that cost the county more money, they have also received a rather larger pay raise. I have also seen other deals performed in this county for other stations to keep their ambulance in service with only 2 career staff that are taking place right now, why can’t they make the provisions for 27? What’s fair for one should be fair for all, and it‘s not happening that way.
    Hold your position 27, I feel your pain. It also seems like the county needs you more then you need them, you run one of the busiest rescue companies in the county, if they want to restrict you to your first due, they are putting the county at risk.

    • Anonymous

      Step into any firehouse in the county and you’ll find racks of brand new gear collecting dust because the volunteers they are assigned to either live out of state or after getting their free PG County Fire Tshirt they just don’t bother coming around all that much. Do you think the citizens would be happy to find out that they are paying for top of the line Chief’s buggys for companies with little to no volunteer participation? Chief’s buggys that spend most of their time parked outside the County, while still being fueled and maintained using Taxpayer dollar. How much do the tax payer fund youth hostels (Firehouses) scattered throughout the County cost the citizens every year? I willing to bet the citizens would be more than a little pissed to find out that they are paying for people to live in these firehouses for free, especially when some of those same people pick and choose how they want to repay the citizens for their “free” room and board. The list goes on and on, and in all fairness it can be applied to both sides of the fence. So enough already with the, “We save the taxpayers millions” argument. Volunteers aren’t “Free.” And while a majority Volunteer force may save the taxpayers SOME money, as the citizens of Morningside are finding out, You Get What You Pay For.

      • Anonymous

        Brand new gear? LOL Who are you? Only 1619 gets the new gear.

  • Anonymous

    Or put a second county ambulance in. Double coverage!

  • Steve in NJ

    Ahhhh. The PGFD. And I always though that “Guiding Light” was the longest running soap opera in American history.

  • 52thekid

    I just love all the comments from people who aren’t close to the situation and forming opinions without all the facts.
    Check out the statement from MVFD on their homepage.
    http://www.morningsidevfd27.com/news/fullstory/newsid/192995
    It might shed some light on their position.

    JJ, the largest cost for any municipal fd is personnel. Salaries, benefits, pension, etc, make up the most of any operating budget. So yeah, the volunteers save the taxpayers a HUGE amount of money. No way PG could afford the level of service they need with out the volunteers.
    And don’t give me this paid guy/volunteer crap either. Some of the best guys in PG are on the job in surrounding communities, volunteering their services (experience/knowledge/leadership) to their communities.
    There are alternatives to this particular situation. So far, PGFD has made MVFD the bad guy in this with the local media. Its not the whole story.

  • VolunteerSupport

    It seems to be a problem with the Local 1619 and the county agreeing on something that was NOT discussed between the major players in the county, all the volunteers!

    The career firefighters were brought into the county to assist the volunteer fire departments back in the day with staffing and since then; they have started to take over pushing the volunteers out. If you look at the big picture, the volunteers still own and operate more equipment and staff more apparatus saving millions for the county.

    Morningside is the first department to stand up and put their foot down on behalf of all volunteer departments in the county. If you really investigate this you will see that the county has pulled career staff from several volunteer fire departments leaving Hugh holes in the coverage area, it’s not just going to be 27.

    The local 1619 continues to add burden on tax payers when they bargain on agreements that cost the county more money, they have also received a rather larger pay raise. I have also seen other deals performed in this county for other stations to keep their ambulance in service with only 2 career staff that are taking place right now, why can’t they make the provisions for 27? What’s fair for one should be fair for all, and it‘s not happening that way.

    Hold your position 27, I feel your pain. It also seems like the county needs you more then you need them, you run one of the busiest rescue companies in the county, if they want to restrict you to your first due, they are putting the county at risk.

  • 27_FINEST

    The last time i checked when you staff a fire truck in PG County you are required to have FF/EMT on the piece, with that being said where did you guys read anything saying that MVFD will not provide EMS Services to the community? It was said that it refuses to house a BLS Transport Unit!!! So the citizens will indeed receive the care they need until another transport unit arrive.

    The county isnt telling you how they removed “Career Staffing” from multiple struggling “VOLUNTEER” stations who begged for the 4 man staffing and they refused to provide the SERVICE to those citzens, instead you wanna put 4 PAID guys to a station who is double pulling every night WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!

  • LongAgo39Vol

    Hasn’t PG County (and I believe just about every county in MD) always deliverd EMS transport services through the fire department(s)? When you sign up to join as a responding volunteer at a corporation that is an integral part of the larger county fire service, you are required to earn your EMT cert within a certain time frame. If your station has a BLS unit, I think it is reasonable to expect that you will run calls on the ambo. If you truly hate EMS transport that much, why not move to a state that has completely separate Fire and EMS services (NJ? PA? NC?). Again, If you volunteer in MD, where EMS is delivered via the fire dept, you should be prepared to run EMS transports. Until there is a separate “PG County Bureau of EMS” or something similar, you take your lumps and be willing to get on the ambulance, even if it is not your favorite thing to do. Volunteering of any kind is supposed to be a selfless act – putting others’ needs above your own. The other point to make about this issue is why don’t the volunteer corporations and county put more effort into recruiting EMS-only volunteers? Back when I joined in 1992, I was an EMS-only volunteer with EMT-A (yes, it was EMT-A at the time), and the PG 32 hr Volunteer Recruit Class. If departments put more effort into recruiting specifically for EMS, stations would have volunteers always willing to ride the box, making it easier for those that didn’t like EMS to stay on the suppression apparatus. Don’t tell me it can’t be done – there are lots of people that don’t want to go through FF1, 2, etc. Volunteer departments should be making a concerted effort to find and recruit these people, and then treat them with RESPECT – not as second class citizens in the station.

  • Anonymous

    Typical vollies, they are only in it for them. Guess what NOTHING IN THIS JOB IS ABOUT YOU! This is a service job, if the citizens require a service we provide it. In 2013 if all you want to do is fight fire then you need to take a walk because that is not the problem plaguing our country right now.

    EMS is the major service of the Fire Department in 2013, and beyond. Yes fire skills are important but medical calls trump the fire responses 10 fold in most places.

    If you are truly volunteering for the citizens then you do it, if not then your only about yourself, I hope they force that ambulance on you, or shut you down since your not providing the best service anyway.

  • B. Brown

    Sounds like things were ok until a contract was reached with the union, while not including all parties affected by said agreement. To all those bad mouthing the volunteers for not wanting to staff an ambulance…get off your lazy a** and do it yourselves. Volunteering to be a firefighter involves a lot of commitment to training and calls. To volunteer for the sake of running an ambulance takes a huge amount of time on top of that. When the union works at the station, they do so as they own it, as was said in an earlier post. I don’t blame the volunteers for being upset, as it is their house. Absolutely no one has the right to step into someone else house and play god. As a 25yr union member I can tell you that the union already has future plans of taking over this house, as can be seen by the contract. Next contract they will try and work some other wording into the contract to upset this station. This will go on and on till enough volunteers get frustrated and quit. Then the union will want to make a full time house as was their mandate from the start. This volunteer/union clash has been going on for way to long. It is time us union people realize that not every city and town can afford full time staffing. We need our volunteers more today then we ever have. Don’t be part of the problem…be part of the solution! Stop trying to grow your membership just to grow your membership. Have the balls to tell our reps that another battle isn’t needed. Please stop being a SHEEPLE!

  • chiefbobr

    Too bad Morningside has to sink to the level of a Kentland over something like this, i.e. ‘you either do it our way or we’ll take our marbles and go home’. What the County is doing by assigning a minimum of 4 personnel to a station (verses 1 or 2) is something that should have been done years ago and is the right thing to do, regardless of what’s in the union contract. That level of staffing means that there will be a guaranteed minimum number of personnel avaialble to respond to emergencies on a 24/7 basis as opposed to the ‘hit and miss’ system currently in place. Glad to see that PGFD finally has a Chief who’s willing to strap on a set and do the right things for the right reasons, and even happier to see that County Administration has finally decided to let the Fire Chief run the FD.

  • Anonymous

    OK, Enough of all the Negative Opinions. Yes it is known EMS Delivery Service is the most utilized. The reason is because it deals Directly with People. Yes Morningside should keep and maintain the EMS service to the citizens. It is also equally important that the fact be known, previously the County has allowed Ritchie VFD not to take an Ambulance. Instead they gave them a Ladder Truck. Years ago the Late Chief Frank Briguglio (Good Lord rest his Soul) Have a similar issue with seat Pleasant. He told them they would be first due in their
    immediate area, and wouldnot respond outside their first due. Result Seat Pleasant took an Ambulance. as far as the Union, they should just remain neutral and continue doing their job. STAY OUT of VOLUNTEER ISSUES. It would seem a reasonable mature/Professional Solution can be/is at hand for the respective parties to sit down and work out the issues. Beginning with (1) SERVE the TAX PAYERS. (2) Morningside has alwaysbeen a Professional Department. (The late Chief Gerald
    Glaubitz would be ashamed to know how,why,who the image of
    Morningside VFD is being Tarnished/smeared.

    “COME ON PEOPLE GET IT TOGETHER NOW”

  • Bullets

    Why do you need to staff 4 guys for an ambulance? So 2 guys take the ambulance on a run and the other two do what exactly?

    this is like in NJ where volunteer BLS has agreements to house paid ALS. The ALS guys can use the building between calls and keep their truck there. But if the BLS says out, then they leave. Just because you keep a unit at a building doesnt make that agency an EMS agency. MVFD is a suppression company that happens to house an Ambulance. Doesnt make MVFD an EMS agency

  • Concerned Citizen

    As a concerned citizen I was encouraged to check out the coversation on this website. I am extremely sad to see what is transpiring within my community. This entire column of comments shows a side of our local first responders that I never knew existed. I truly admire the volunteers that serve my family and friends selflessly each and every day (or so I thought). What a shock this was to find out that a local volunteer fire department close to me was refusing to accept and keep an ambulance to serve us in our time of need. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if you show up in a fire truck I may still have an extended wait to get to the ER? Doesn’t this mindset go agaist all you stand for? I will certainly reconsider my support for any organization that continues to maintain this negative attitude towards serving our community! Please reconsider your decision to jeopardize the safety of our local community.
    Joan L.
    Clinton

    • Anonymous

      Joan, Station 25 is another issue in whole, they service all of the Clinton area. Morningside has been deemed a “non -essential” station by the PGFD…. what that means is that there are over 6 stations that will respond that are within a 5-10 minute response time to your location. Morningside is merely asking the ambulance be redeployed to another station to cover the calls that it runs in other locations. it will be of more benefit for the citizens in and around morningside to have a STAFFED ambulance…. currently the ambulance is only staffed part of the time between 0700 to 1500 whereas when the volunteers take over the responsibility of staffing at 1500 the ambulance is guaranteed to get out the door because it is dedicated with 2 career personnel between 1500-0700 the following morning…. while the Fire Suppression apparatus is staffed by volunteers.

  • Allen

    I bet DCFEMS is happy they are not in the news for at least a day. It is only a matter of time they will be.

  • Anonymous

    27, your first due is 3 square miles. Your members are a joke. Your Chief(The Metro Bus Driver) lives in 21’s first due and wants to dictate policy to residents of Morningside. You don’t matter. You expect to run 29 boxes, 26 boxes,42 boxes… with suppression pieces, but not a bls piece? Pull your weight. People are tired of this shit. Your “supporters” are waiting for you to collapse, so the can cannibalize your giant FIRST DUE area and equipment. SQ33 would love every extrication south of Central Ave. Maxwell Drive fires are pretty exciting, you’ll be missed on all the webcam pictures/videos..You guys don’t matter!

    • Anonymous

      Are you an Idiot? can you even read? or are you just a keyboard firefighter?

  • Paid Maids

    make sure you park 272 across the street with the Ambo .. get your own gas card find your own mechanics NOT AMD… Or be men take staffing or recruit people to staff a ambo like others do.. Your first due may be small but when that little old lady across the street is having a emergency and needs a ride to the hospital ASAP.. Who is gonna take her the squad or squengine? 29 A or B, 26 A or B, 23 or 25 even 32 .. WHO is gonna take because all of those units most likely will be already on a call.. then who 37 ? o yea they are to cool for ambo also.. guess granny gonna get first responder care from squad until mutual aid shows up from Charles to transport her…. Recruit ambo providers or take the 4.. This is not a game but a public service to Morningside… Make sure you have a speech made for grannys family why riding the ambo is not cool…

    • Pete P

      Vols are EMT’S as well Typical union talk When the contract caused it

      • Anonymous

        Someone having a heart attack doesn’t need an engine with 6 volunteers on board, (1 sitting in the wagon, 4 standing around looking annoyed while holding their suspenders and 1 pretending to take a blood pressure). They need an AMBULANCE, on scene and ready to transport them to the hospital where they can receive a higher level of care. If the ambulance shows up on scene and the volunteers on the engine can’t provide them with accurate vitals and or any relevant patient information, than you are NOT providing EMS services. All you’re doing is standing around waiting for an ambulance to arrive so you can go back to the firehouse and wait for that box alarm; and more often than not, this is what the ambulance crews find when they arrive on scene.
        If you don’t want to join the 21st century and provide Ambulance services to the citizens of your 1st due, than go find somewhere else to practice your hobby.

  • Vols R A Joke Today

    Todays volunteers are a joke!! Back in the 70,s when I started, the siren blew, we came to the firehouse and took whatever piece was due. We didn’t have pagers, so we didn’t know if it was the biggest fire of our lives or a sick person. But you know what? We responded. Not like today where “If I can’t ride the BRT, then I’m not going.” MAN UP!! It’s not a question of what’s best for you, it’s what’s best for the community. Concerned Citizen is right… she should be concerned. If the citizens knew the childish behavior that goes on in a volunteer house, they would DEMAND an all career, PROFESSIONAL Fire Service

  • PG Wheelman

    “7.) Nearly 7 out of 10 emergencies responded to by the PGFD Ambulance housed at the MVFD Fire Station are outside of the MVFD’s Primary Response Area.”

    How can you even use this logic to take a stand against running an ambo?

    I bet 8 out of 10 fire calls AT LEAST are outside of your tiny first due, but you won’t hesitate to run a 26 or 29 box.

    Last time I checked Co. 27 was part of our COUNTY Fire Dept. Do you check ID’s to make sure your customers live within your box area on every call or do you provide service to every person regardless?

    The good news is MVFD just received $446,245.00 in taxpayer money from a federal SAFER grant specifically for recruitment. That will go a long way in your search for EMS only members.

  • Name withheld to protect from NSA snooping

    Putting an ambulance at 23, 29, 26 etc would not be a huge issue. >70% of the time when a call goes out for EMS in 27s first due, you get the engine/rescue engine/squad, and WAIT FOR ANOTHER AMBULANCE. Why? Because 279 is out, in SOMEONE else’s first due. The County and the IAFF L1619 is what caused this problem. So all this whining about services to the citizens maybe you should get off a high horse and look at actual numbers and not theorycraft.

    Ambos are volly killers. And it’s not so much the actual call, its the 2-3 hour turn around times at local hospitals. It’s the uneducated public who calls 911 for a stubbed toe, WHICH then reduces the ambulance for someone with a legit emergency. I personally work in another jurisdiction as an FF/PM with nearly the same volume as PG, but the local hospitals are more efficient with turn arounds.

    I would stand by 27 in this fight, they want the county to continue to abide by the agreement that they signed in 2006. The county is violating contractual law.

    And like others have stated, if they put 4 on the floor, you get 2 FF/EMTs, a “senior” FF/EMT and/or Technician and 4 officers 1 Capt, 3 Lts)… Which, with this “such a busy unit” means you will have TWO (2) on a suppression piece… which violates NFPA standards. (And we all know, if you adopt one you adopt them all).

    Lastly, take a look at standards of cover. This “serving the community” is not really valid, if you follow standards of cover for EMS transport services…..

    • Tired

      Look at the “agreement” on the MVFD website – NOBODY signed it.

  • Truckie

    Wow a lot of nasty people commenting on this issue. I find it funny to see people talking about how MVFD putting the community at risk by trying to get rid of the ambo, however no one talks about how the county would be putting even more people at risk by restricting one of the busiest squad companies to their first due. The closest rescue squad would be at least 12 minutes away if not more.

    Whether you agree with what they are doing or not, Co. 27 is still a great company that provides an invaluable service to the citizens in their first due and surrounding communities (with or without an ambulance).

    To the “concerned citizen”, if you are even a “citizen”. The majority of the time your ambulance is most likely coming from another firehouse anyway due to 27’s ambo constantly covering other areas. Now if the fire chief restricts 27 to their first due and you happen to get into a bad accident right outside their first due lets say on the Suitland Parkway or even the beltway you would be waiting for another squad in excess of 12 minutes for another squad to show up.

    If the county is so concerned about the public’s safety why not just keep things the way they are? I understand upstaffing stations that are sending 2 career men out on the engine constantly but 27 doesn’t seem to have that problem. It’s a little hypocritical to talk trash about 27 when you are trying to push your own political union agenda.

  • Steve

    1. Shame on the citizens of PG County for allowing a Union to dictate staffing in the fire department.
    2. Put 4 county employees in FS27 and have them staff A827 and A827B. 3,000+ calls per year for one ambulance is too much for one ambulance. 3000+ calls is dangerous for the responders.
    3. Put the right people on the right rig at the right time. If 80% of the 911 calls are for medical emergencies, then put the paid staff on the ambulances. People die after they stop breathing and cannot be rebuilt or reborn. Buildings can be rebuilt.
    4. If you want to get paid to be a firefighter go to a department that doesn’t have transport responsibilities.
    5. Most of the emergency responders I’ve met are good-hearted folks. The vile and uncivil comments shared on this site are disheartening.
    6. Stay safe.

    • Anonymous

      1. Ya, shame on the citizens! I mean why on earth would they want a fire truck to show up at their door with more than just TWO people on it. I say shame on the citizens for allowing these selfish volunteer organizations to continue to operate while denying or delaying them services. All because they want to have a pissing match and throw a hissy fit over who gets to ride in the front of the fire truck. The citizens need to stand up to the volunteers and say, enough with holding their safety hostage and constantly throwing up road blocks to the County being able to move passed a 1960’s staffing model.
      2. 3000+ calls a year on a fire truck is ok, but 3000+ on the ambulance is dangerous??? There are plenty of volunteer organizations in this country that provide EMS services at that call volume without a problem or complaint.
      3. 80% of the call volume is EMS; and according to the Volunteers they provide a majority of the staffing in the county while being supplemented by the paid staff. If the volunteers in the county truly want to serve the citizens and not themselves, wouldn’t it make more sense for the volunteers to staff the ambulances and let the career staff “supplement” the volunteers by staffing the fire engines…oh wait, there’s no glory in riding an ambulance.
      4. I love how this logic applies to PG Career staff, but it’s never applied to the DC FEMS. If you want to be a Firefighter only and not provide ambulance services to the citizens, go volunteer in a county that doesn’t provide ambulance services.
      5. You are correct.
      6. What do you think the point of the Union wanting to get rid of 2 man shift houses is?? In many of the 2 man shift houses throughout the county, those 2 shift men were the ONLY staffing there throughout the day. Fire apparatus should not be going down the road with only two people on board.
      People need to stop blaming the Union. The Union NEGOCIATES with the County to create policy. The County decides how to implement that policy.

      • Selfish?

        Im one of those “selfish” vols you are talking about. Im an EMT and only ride Ambulance 827. I don’t even live in the State of Maryland and I travel to serve the citizens of Morningside. I can tell you first hand that most of my calls (probably 80%) are outside of my first due. Morningside is a rescue company first and has only agreed to house A827 for the county. Bashoor is shoving the responsibility of staffing the Ambo down 27’s thought. So in response to your comment, those who have volunteered at 27, are volunteering to be on a RESCUE SQUAD and not an ambulance. Next time you post something I suggest you get your facts strait and not call those who risk their lives and give up precious time with their family to serve for NO compensation selfish. That is all.

        • Anonymous

          Maybe you can volunteer in your own state and protect your friends and family.

          • Selfish?

            Anonymous, if that is your real name, I do already. I also do volunteer work in another state to help prevent child abuse. Judging by your tone you are being critical of me for volunteering in another state where I’m not protecting my own “friends and family”. Well I’d be happy to give you a free lesson on volunteerism. You don’t only have to help those within your immediate reach and sometimes you have to travel a bit. Its ok to show caring, empathy, and compassion to someone who may not be your neighbor. Think about the volunteers who helped in the aftermath of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina or the earthquake in Haiti. Volunteering is a passion and passion cannot be taught or learned. I am willing to guess you are not a volunteer anything, let a lone firefighter/EMT, because you really don’t understand the true spirit and meaning behind the word. Good luck in you quest for a soul. That is all.

      • Anonymous

        A paid political announcement by local 1619! and thats a fact jack.

         

    • Enrique

      1. The union did not dictate staffing. The county and the union agreed on staffing. The union has no say in day to day operations. They do have a say in what they and the county agree to in a binding contract.

      2. Maybe if 37 provided transport service there would not be a domino effect created by a demand for service. There are other EMS units that run as much or more calls.

      3. The county offered them 4 around the clock, they refused. Who do you think would be on that unit 24/7?

      4. The fire fighters of Local 1619 aren’t complaining. The county fire chief is obligated to abide by the agreement made by the county and the union.

  • Oh-No!

    That’s a good idea-get a 2nd unit put all four paid folks on ambulances. It sounds like they had a good system going at 27 before the County and the Union “fixed it”.

    • Anonymous

      Good for the Ticks, not good for the Public. The volunteers seem to have a problem with the ambulance running most of it’s call outside the first due, but have ZERO problem with the Squad and Rescue Engine running most of their calls outside the first due. Maybe they should do the same thing with the Squad that they are proposing to do with the Ambulance. Put the ambulance at 29 or 26, put the Squad and Rescue Engine to 23 or 37, and the problem is solved.
      Have fun not being allowed to run outside your first due!

      • Truckie

        How was having 2 paidemen on the ambulance while he volunteers staffed the suppression units at 27 hurting the public? I understand having it at stations that are sending engines down the road wity 2 paidmen but its not the case at morningside. Its funny if you look at the PGFD PIO you will find that 27 has been praised quite a few times over the last year or two for various things. All of the sudden all of you (union thugs) have all these nasty things to say about the company. The truth is that 27 provides a very invaluable service to thr community (with or without an ambulance)

        To the union thug that said “have fun running calls in your first due”.. Have fun waiting for a rescue squad on the beltway while a patient is trapped in his car. Oh wait we cant talk about that lets stick to talking about the extra 3 minutes it takes for another companys ambulance to get on scene.. even though thats how it normally is anyways.

  • Not in the IAFF

    PG’s paid men cost $150,000 a year. Pull up their budget, and look at human resources, and divide it by the number of FTEs. This isn’t out of line with other firefighters around the country, and might not even be that ridiculous, given the broad skillset, high stakes, physical risk, and bad hours they must work.

    However, it’s a damn lot of money to pay someone to drive a not-very-sick person to the hospital. Not when you can hire EMTs for $15/h all day every day.

    PG should stop hiring paid firefighters, and begin to subsidize private, non-union, non-government employee BLS ambulance companies. For the price of two paid men, you could staff & operate a low-cost BLS ambulance 24/7/365.

    Leave the expensive paid men on Medic units and Fire trucks. Let the privates and volunteers staff the BLS units.

    • Truckie

      That is a very smart idea, too bad the union thugs won’t allow it due to the fact that it would hurt their political agenda. I know most departments up north (NJ/NY) staff their ambulances that way. Actually in NJ many municipalities have started contracting ems service out to the hospitals to save money.

  • http://nunya Quarter-Wave

    Here, let me help you.

    In the last election for county Executive, Local 1619 promised and delivered significant campaign donations to help get Rushern Baker elected. They did this with the understanding that once elected Mr. Baker would help the IAFF with eliminating the volunteers and their corporations. It is no secret that Local 1619 has long viewed the volunteers in Prince George’s County to be an obstruction to their agenda and overall plan to forcibly take over the fire service in Prince George’s County. Local 1619 has many times referred to the volunteers in the county as “rival organizations”. Most members of the Fire Department union are not residents of Prince George’s County either and thus have no voting privileges in said county.

    The above mentioned plan is already well in play and has been strengthened with the installation of Mark Bashoor as the county fire chief. Mr. Bashoor had a history with both the career and volunteer sides of the fire service in PG and he knows exactly how to distract the volunteers and the citizens by twisting facts and fooling the masses. He has accomplished this with community activist type tactics. On many occasions he has held meetings with neighborhood leaders and prominent citizens of the county behind the backs of volunteer leadership. Führer (Fire Chief) Bashoor has also been able to position himself to be the only point of contact for the fire department. He did this by suggesting that Mr. Baker use executive order to forcibly change the County Fire Commission which is and always has been the mechanism of checks and balances for the combination system in the county. The Commission also served as one of the reporting bodies to the county government. Today the Fire Commission exist as merely an advisory board with the county fire chief ultimately making decisions. This was not the original intent at the inception chartered government.

    With this new power and control gained by the county Fire Chief he has eliminated any transparency that once existed on the volunteer side. He has done this under the banner of doing exactly the opposite. The separate budgets that once existed, known as the “51” and “52” budgets are no longer. They now exist as a single budget of which he has total control. This has proven to be a huge loss to not just the volunteer corporations in the county but also to the citizens and tax payers. The 52 budget of the volunteers had rarely had any discrepancies while the 51 budget of the career side generally was plagued with unfounded and undocumented purchases and wasteful spending. The lack of experience in fiscal management and responsibility of the fire chief and his staff has been brought to light on many of occasions. His failures as a fire service leader can be seen in his grossly bloated overtime spending and duplication of services amongst other things. He has been able to skate these issues by pushing an aggressive public relations and propaganda program that has been deployed through community outreach opportunities created by the county fire department. He basically tells the citizens and their leaders that the volunteers are ineffective and not needed.

    The county fire department has also been able to take over the third party EMS billing program from the volunteer corporations. The corporations that did bill for EMS service used those funds to secure new equipment and in many cases secure a pool of dedicated and enthusiastic EMS only members. With control of the funds in the hands of the leaders of the mismanaged career department, it is easier than ever to choke out the volunteer corporations and continue on their path of consistent wasteful spending. This combined with constant increase in required training that far exceeds that of which other departments across the nation require, has insured the demise of the volunteer system.

    As it has been suggested earlier, certain volunteer corporations seem to be exempt from some of these tactics. Individual staffing plans, the ruling that certain stations are nonessential, and monetary commitments for building and apparatus changes and improvements are a few examples of back door deals made with the county fire chief and his minions. Those corporations and those chiefs that “play ball” with the county fire chief can also be rewarded with operational promotions within the emergency operations command. Those promotions enable those promoted volunteer chiefs to operationally outrank their volunteer peers in emergency situations and further push the agenda of the county career department. Most people would call them sell outs and if you really pay attention to who in most cases is getting the breaks versus who is getting pushed around, you can see that this is true. Under the previous open system many of these choices were brought to a discussion and decided on by all of the fire service leaders.

    The latest issue involving the Morningside Volunteers is in typical PGFD/1619 fashion. The county fire department conveniently forgets their actual authority knowing that the volunteer leadership is too distracted by the many other issues at hand to fight it as a whole. In this case the county entered a legal agreement to provide staffing for a county owned BLS transport unit in exchange for housing of that unit at the fire house owned by the Morningside Volunteers. The PGFD then decided to break that contract and remove the dedicated staffing for that ambulance. This is just like many of the legal contracts that the county has with the volunteers. For some reason the county believes that it is reasonable for them to abandon those contracts due to a new contract being met with the IAFF. At no point were the volunteers involved in the negotiations of the IAFF contract even though it directly affects them. So they twist and turn the facts. Make the volunteers look like criminals all while padding their own pockets. It’s all part of the plan.

    At no point is anyone’s life being endangered because of this and think so is just irresponsible. As busy as the EMS system is in Prince George’s County there is no telling where a transport unit is coming from. To say that the removal of this county owned transport unit is going to cause a delay in treatment is reckless. Remember one very important thing, MVFD only wants it removed if the county refuses to staff it as was the original agreement and you can bet your hide that those volunteers will still be there to provide basic life support and initial first aid when needed.

    Some believe that the demand on the system is by design too. Now that the county charges for EMS transports the county leadership demands that all personnel encourage everyone to go to the hospital by ambulance regardless of the assessed sickness or injury. This has greatly taxed an already overtaxed fire and EMS system. It does however make sense from a financial standpoint if you stop and think about it. The more transports then the more revenue that is generated. That money is now controlled by the county fire department. That’s more money to do what they want with. Coincidently the county is apparently having a hard time accounting for some of that cash. When the volunteers did their own billing this didn’t happen. Most volunteer corporations are 501C3 organizations. With that classification comes very strict oversight that is set by the state and federal government. So the volunteers know that they need to have their funds and books in order for when they get audited. This situation does not exist with the county government. They can allow themselves to be crazy shoppers and write their own checks all while covering for each other.

    While it is understood that there are necessary changes that need to take place in today’s fire service it is also understood that these changes should happen naturally and collectively. Forcing any volunteer corporation to take on an additional responsibility or action without any type of discussion or proposed action plan just shows what the county leadership is really concerned about. It’s always easier to force it down the throats of the volunteers and then hope no one notices. If they do then they will just twist the truth and hide behind the “safety” buzzword while scaring the public.

    Another perfect example is with the chief’s buggy mandate. The County Fire Nazi wants all fire service vehicles to be marked with decals. Well, all of them except for some of the ones on the career side of course. Don’t think for a minute that it’s just volunteer buggies driving out of county. I think many of you would be surprised how many PGFD county owned vehicles end up at the end of Routes. 4 or 5 or in places that rhyme with Dork PA or Beaston Md. Those vehicles are not required to be marked though so it’s easier for the career employees to get away with it.

    This is just a small taste of what actually is going on in the busiest combination system in the nation. You are sadly mistaken if you think for a second that the county fire chief and career fire department union have the best interest of the citizens and visitors of Prince George’s county in mind when they make any decision. If you think that Führer Bashoor and his Reichsführer Barksdale are your friends, think again. This is not an indictment on all of the career staff either. I know that many of them are just doing their job. I also know that many of them don’t live nor have ever lived in Pee Gee County and could care less about the people in Pee Gee. I’m also not claiming that the volunteers are completely innocent in these matters but I would declare that many of them know what’s best for the communities that they serve and genuinely care for them. The increased pressure created by the county fire department and government makes in tough to remain in touch as they once were.

    The issue with the volunteers is that of organization and unity. However, where the organizational gaps do exist you can usually find unnecessary and unwarranted county related distractions causing those gaps. If the volunteers in Pee Gee County would unite again and not fall for the tricks of political crooks then everyone would be a lot better off. However time is slipping away and the PGFD/1619 have a plan in full swing. Now is the time for you all to unite. Now is the time to stop the infighting and stand up for one another.

    Hold the line Morningside. Hold the line.

    • Anonymous

      I stopped reading at the part where you compared the Fire Chief to a dictator who tried to murder an entire race of people.

  • Anonymous

    Reading all these comments makes me think 1619 is the most powerful union in the country. Maybe you should fold now!

  • Support Your Local VOLUNTEER Fire Companies, I Do!

    Why is it the PAID guys are the main ones on here complaining about riding the Ambulance and they get PAID to do it and Bill for the services. The VOLUNTEERS are just saying that if YOU are going to Bill than YOU ride it! If the VOLUNTEERS are able to Bill for the services they provide on the Ambulance, than they should ride it. Seems like the County wants to run the VOLUNTEERS Out, but they on the news everyday saying how much they need the VOLUNTEERS help………All Smoke and Mirrors!

    NO VOLUNTEER Station should run an Ambulance if they cannot Bill for the services! VOLUNTEERS do NOT Work for the County! If the County wants VOLUNTEERS to ride an Ambulance they Bill for services on than they need to compensate that VOLUNTEER Corporation so they can continue to purchase and maintain the equipment needed to serve there community and not have to ask the County for that equipment!

    • Tired

      YOU are an idiot.

      There is 1 billing agent – the County. Bills are vetted through a divided-by-25% distribution through a 3rd party collector.

      The Volunteer corporations COULD get 100% of the ambulance billing income if they:
      1) Own the unit (25%)
      2) Fuel and maintain the unit (25%)
      3) Drive the unit (25%)
      4) Provide the EMS Provider (25%)

      MVFD conveniently leaves this little fact out of their responses

    • PG Wheelman

      PAID guy checking in.

      None of us have complained about riding an ambo. We accept it as part of our job, and get PAID to do it. Many of us actually find some enjoyment in it and take pride in providing the service. It’s not always as fun as riding the fire truck, but some of the best stories come from riding the ambo.

      Our position is that county wide, 2 man shift houses are not the best use of resources and result in an unsafe working environment.

  • Anonymous

    If 27 is NONESSENTIAL then why is it so ESSENTIAL to the county fire chief have a full crew around the clock and a transport unit there to begin with?

  • Anonymous

    Cave now!

  • 0 cool

    The union does not have to include the vols for the contract, just like the vols don’t have to include the union for their board of directors meetings or bylaws.
    The way it was explained to me was, you can have 4 or none around the clock(day crew only).
    No more unsupervised shift work unless it is a medic unit. Mvfd said no to the 4 around the clock. Seems pretty simple doesn’t it.

  • Career

    Someone mentioned when you staff a station with career personnel they take over and do not allow volunteers to ride/ride the seat. Even though the volunteers have the same training and certifications. What a joke. The certifications are provided by taking classes in a classroom. I have 3 yrs on the job and technically I have all the certifications to be a Captain.

    Do you think the county will let me become a Captain? No. Because we paid men/women have a standard.

    I have gone through a 6 month recruit school, 12 month rookie book, and spent countless hours studying my first due to become a driver. We hold a higher standard for our officers.

    But, I have the classes to become a Captain. Should I be one? No.

    Is my experience the same as a 30 veteran on the job? No.

    But, I have the classes.

    My point is……Volunteers at 27 that have the classes can become an officer in under a year. I have seen it. Are you telling me these 18/19 yr old kids are ready to lead grown men and women into a hazardous situation? No.

    The problem is these kids are making crucial decisions without any responsibility. These kids have power over career personnel.

    It’s a joke. A kid telling career personnel what to do?

    A kid with a year volunteering can dictate how a fireground is operating. Do they have the experience, maturity, and decision making ability as a career officer? No.

    So, in conclusion, the kids at 27 are unable to lead a crew of grown men and women….no matter what classroom certifications they have obtained.

    • Anonymous

      @Career—excellent post.

    • LiarLiarPantsOnFire

      What the hell are you talking about? Stop spewing nonsense (http://www.morningsidevfd27.com/member/index)

      Lets go look at the roster of line officers:

      – None of them are under the age of 21.
      – All have been on for at least 4 years
      – 4 of them have served as line officers for the last couple of years.

      These “Kids” you speak of not only have the same certifications as you, but also have more time on than you… Oh i’m sorry they don’t pay union dues nor fit in with the political agenda. My bad nothing to see here…

  • Anonymous

    “As a tax paying citizen of Prince Georges County Maryland and a 30 year resident, I find that it is not only my right, but my responsibility to let our County Leadership know when I am disappointed.

    Mr. Rushurn Baker III, I can’t believe that you would come out publically against a Volunteer Fire Department that has saved the Citizens of Prince Georges County over 1.5 million Dollars so far this calendar year in salary and benefits.
    How about supporting one of the many reasons why the taxes of the Citizens are not even higher than OUR taxes are now.

    Show support for the Volunteer Fire Service that this counties fire department was founded with.

    I Voted in the last election Mr. Baker and have all plans to Vote in the Upcoming election as well. I know that PGVFRA didn’t support you in the last election publically and you have some obligations with other groups in our fire department, but the citizens should know the ‪#‎truth‬.

    It is not fair nor ethical for the Morningside Volunteer Fire Dept. who provides its services everyday FREE of CHARGE to ride an ambulance that you bill the citizens for.

    So, Mr. Baker in closing as a voting tax paying citizen of Prince Georges County, I might have to reconsider my vote if you believe that these are the types of decisions are the right ones.

    Michael J. White Sr. – Citizen, Voter and Fire Chief of the greatest Volunteer Fire Department on earth.”

    If this is what is leading the MVFD, god help you guys! Guy can’t even spell properly.

  • Truevet

    The watch desk is up and running thanks Dave, MVFD, and PGFD. Reminds me of the good ole days of Riverdale hiding their ambo. MVFD you are putting up a good fight. When reality sets in, PGFD will compromise with MVFD and there will be an Ambulance stationed there. Mike Wright is the figure head who is being instructed by the old board of directors. Mike will thank those same BODs for the demotion he will receive from the Fire
    Chief. This is one of many times a Vol organization is against the norm check the results and see who wins. I put my time in and have participated in many battles.In the end both factions got along and service was superior. I’ll be monitoring this situation and will look forward to the result.

  • 1619UnionCorruption

    From The Morningside Volunteer Fire Department’s Page:

    “Sunday, August 18, 2013 The Morningside Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. has not been able to open any discussions with the Prince Georges County Administration after being publicly attacked in the media. Representatives of the MVFD continue to reach out to Prince Georges County Officials in an attempt to achieve an amicable resolution, but our attempts have been unsuccessful.In our last meeting with the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Public Safety, Mr. Barry Stanton and the County’s Attorneys, that occurred on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, the MVFD posed the question to make the current Ambulance assigned to the MVFD station, into an All Response Medic Unit. This request would not only comply with the newly implemented Collective Bargaining Agreement without increasing current staffing levels, but also ensure the citizens of Morningside and the surrounding area receive the highest level of care that is available. All Prince Georges County Official’s would not entertain this request.

    If this is truly a matter of Public Safety, why isn’t every Ambulance staffed with dedicated career personnel? Currently, the County is not staffing every Ambulance and they are removing staffing from other Stations that are requesting staffing assistance and consistently failing on calls.”

    Very good points brought up. Another point is where were all you Union Thugs when 8/17 lost their career personnel leaving two areas without consistent Ambulance/Engine coverage? Couldn’t you use two of the paidmen to staff another ambulance at 5 to make up for the lack of ambulance coverage in 8/17’s are while keeping Morningside’s ambulance staffed? I guess public safety isn’t that much of a concern in the Capitol Heights/Seat Pleasant area..

    In the end after you clear away all of the rhetoric and phony outrage all you have is a political labor organization trying to push a political agenda v. a volunteer fire department trying to keep the status quo (which never needed fixing in the first place).

  • Anonymous

    Love how the volunteers keep ranting about “we do it for free! No compensation!”

    1. Free place to live- some places have no requirements of service for live ins- meaning you don’t even have to go on emergency calls.
    2. Free gyms
    3. Free Cable and TV with netflicks, Xbox, etc
    4. Free phone service
    5. Free high speed Internet and wifi
    6. Free access to laundry including detergent
    7. Free company cars and gas with no accountability… Go where you want
    8. Free college… I repeat free college!
    9. Free food and beverage from donations, companies just stocking the pantries and all those committee dinners each month.
    10. Free vacations to Ocean City and elsewhere for “training”
    11. Free money- a retirement check each month after putting nothing in thanks to pencil whipped LOSAP
    12. Free money- all the skimming from the top that goes on when cash donations come in (everyone remembers casino nights)
    13. Free money- Workers Comp- for when you’re “injured on the job” like shooting your eye out playing at the station and saying it happened on a call.
    14. Free car wash- the only time you see some volunteers is the weekly washing of their vehicle.
    15. Free storage/garage facilities – was Co 42 a firehouse or motorcycle club?
    16. Free training and courses that usually lead to a job and a paycheck. After said training there is no contract for commitment of years of service to the county and state that footed the bill.
    17. My favorite- banquet/installation- a night of free booze, food and empty praises from one volunteer to another for their tireless dedication which they get nothing in return for. Then proceed to had out expensive gifts, certificates, equipment or cash to “top runners”. Each company has their own night of fun, just attend all of them if you’re low on cash and don’t want to hit up the soup kitchen.
    18. Everything the local community and business give you for free or discounted! Mistakenly thinking you are there to serve them. Some volunteers demand and expect discounts and are shocked when they don’t get one. How many plumbers or electricians do you know boycott local businesses because they didn’t get a free coffee?

    The list could go on, but lets recap here. If you are getting every necessity of life for free because you treat the local fire house like homeless shelter/welfare office, you can no longer say “we do this for free, no compensation!”

    You don’t. You never have done this for free. Time to start paying back the community and county by actually serving them and their needs…. Not whining about your own.

    • Selfish?

      Um, its Selfish checking in again. The only pint I will agree with you on is the free training, but that because I have to be up to a certain standard to perform my job as an EMT. Now on to the rest…My paid job is law enforcement so I don’t have any aspirations of getting a fire gig, MD has never paid for my college (just look at my student loans from grad school), neither the county nor the state has given me a vacation or sent me on a trip, I have never driven a “company car”, is there a gym at morning side because I haven’t found it yet, I don’t watch tv at the station, I live out of state so I don’t live at the station, and I wont even touch your statement about skimming. I guess I’m trying to say you cant generalize about people and you should get your facts strait before you make stupid accusations. By what I write here everyone involved knows who I am. Why don’t you throw your county number down, I’ll look you up and we can discuss off line. Wait thats right you don’t have one because you are lurking troll wanna be and not a FF or EMT. Good luck getting a FF gig some day ;D Thant is all.

  • Firefighter/Paramedic

    You know, if the county said they wanted to give 27 a ladder truck or a new rescue squad, you wouldn’t hear all this non-sense. You know its getting out of hand when lawyers are getting into the battle. The fact is this the culture of this region is “f**k that ambulance.”

    It always has been that way and it will be for the foreseeable future. This attitude is career and volunteer alike.

    I say 27 buy their own ambulance just like many of the north side vol. companies have. What makes 27 any better than Berwyn Heights?

  • JustSayin’

    I’m I missing something here.???

    Didn’t 27’s state they NEVER wanted an Ambo and operated that way
    for many years
    UNTIL the County placed a career-staffed Ambo at their station.???

    All they want is the County to continue with this SAME agreement.???

    That, AS THEY HAVE ALWAYS DONE, they will handle the Squad/Engine duties.???

  • ffp20

    WOW! what a bunch of whiney little children!