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Officials: Staff Shortage at Maryland City Fire Department Poses Public Safety Risk

Three stations around Anne Arundel County need more personnel, according to a councilman and a key union leader.

An Anne Arundel County councilman and a top union official say that the response time to a recent Crownsville fire underscores the need for more staffing at the Maryland City Volunteer Fire Department and two other stations, the Capital Gazette reports.

Jamie Benoit (D-Crownsville) and Craig Oldershaw, president of the Anne Arundel County Professional Firefighters Association, pointed to an incident last week in which responders took about nine minutes to reach a blaze in the 1300 block of Generals Highway. 

Firefighters from the closer Herald Harbor Volunteer Fire Department were busy with a medical emergency at the time of the call, according to the paper, meaning West Annapolis firefighters were the first to reach the scene. A 75-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries in the blaze.

Due to a lack of staffing, the Herald Harbor, Maryland City, and Galesville departments have all lost recognition from the Insurance Services Office—a move that can affect insurance rates in the surrounding community. Benoit and Oldershaw said that the personnel situation poses a risk to public safety.

Read the full story from the Gazette.

John Floyd II November 13, 2012 at 07:21 PM
This is nothing new for Maryland City as chronic under-staffing has been a problem for as long as there's been a fire station there (circa 1969 or so). When I was a volunteer fireman in Laurel during the 1970s and '80s, Engine 27 from Maryland City seldom ever responded to a call here with more than either just a driver or two firemen aboard. For this reason, they were always ordered to stand by a hydrant since there was little else a one or two-man crew could do at a structure fire. Night and weekend responses were staffed a little better with a handful of volunteers augmenting the two paid firemen back then. Considering that there are likely even fewer volunteers at 27's today than 30-35 years ago, of course the problem has worsened. Only additional paid staffing will correct the issue.

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