Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Citizens should demand a fully funded fire department

In the article titled "Fire squad might relocate" (April 13), Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James S. Clack states, "When the mayor was able to find the money to keep Truck 10, that changed the equation."

The article goes on to state that the current citywide arrangement of companies is based on choices made when Truck 10 was lost. With Truck 10 still in service, he said, the deployment of companies needs to be tweaked. Am I now to understand that if Truck 10, which is located in West Baltimore, had closed then, the figures noted in the article such as Truck 5 which has seen an increase in calls of nearly 65 percent and Engine 6 and Truck 1 who have seen an increase in calls of 41 percent and 43 percent respectively, would not have occurred, considering those three companies are situated in East Baltimore? That is ludicrous!

Keeping Truck 10 open has no bearing on the increase in calls being handled by those east side companies. The workload for those companies has increased solely because of the cuts made last year to the fire department! Chief Clack also goes on to say that the police reallocate resources all the time. This is not about reallocating resources. This is about robbing Peter (West Baltimore) to pay Paul (East Baltimore) for the serious mistake of closing Truck 15 and Squad 11 in 2012. During the many community meetings and City Council hearings in 2012, we spoke out against these closings and warned of the repercussions that the citizens would face along with the tremendous risk our members would be placed in. But those words fell on deaf ears. The plan to move a west side company to the east side will only shift the risk across town.

It is time for the citizens of Baltimore to rise up and tell City Hall and the chief that they will not allow further cuts and that they want their fire department to be fully funded and to stop this penny pinching way of providing a core service such as public safety!

Michael B. Campbell, Baltimore

The writer is President of Baltimore Fire Officers Local 964.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Fire Department considering shift of west-side company to east side

    Fire Department considering shift of west-side company to east side

    East Baltimore under strain after units closed last year

  • Baltimore needs BRT

    Baltimore needs BRT

    Recently, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford announced that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) should be considered as an alternative instead of the now-shelved Red Line light rail system ("Who knew Hogan, Rutherford were such transit geeks," July 15). Why? Costs. Light rail is extremely expensive — to the tune of...

  • Iran deal — war now or war later

    Iran deal — war now or war later

    In its recent editorial, The Sun adopts President Barack Obama's primary argument in favor of the Iran deal — that the only choice is the deal or war ("A 'good enough' agreement," July 24). No one wants war. But the choice here is not war or no war. It is war now or war later.

  • The evil of Iran

    The evil of Iran

    We sat 5,000-plus strong in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the District of Columbia for three intense days of Christians United For Israel (CUFI) 10th summit on July 12-14. We came from all across the nation (including 95 members from other countries and 500 college students). We...

  • Orioles: No gnomes, please

    Orioles: No gnomes, please

    In light of the Orioles recent near-death spiral, many fans have pinned the blame on the Buck Showalter Garden Gnome giveaway ("Buck Showalter garden gnome briefly causes long lines at Camden Yards," June 28). True, their record since the promotion has been dismal and Buck Showalter was warned...

  • Baltimore remains a fiber desert

    Baltimore remains a fiber desert

    Like Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Smarter Baltimore draft report, the commentary, "Broadband for Baltimore" (July 27), has solid recommendations for building high speed Internet in Baltimore. But like that report, it ignores the principal reason that Baltimore City doesn't have broadband. Verizon's...