Chief's shift plan a slap in the face to fire fighters

I find it hard to believe that the chief of the Baltimore City fire department wants to bring back the 56 hour work week ("Baltimore fire chief floats workforce reduction, more hours," March 22). This would be a disservice to the loyal men and women of the department. A 56-hour work week entails four 14-hour nights of continuous runs on medic units that respond to 6,000-8,000 calls each annually. This is extremely irresponsible and dangerous not only for the weary rescue workers but also for the patients. Mistakes are inevitable As they labor long hours under constant pressure.

Fire companies are also affected as they must fill in for medic units that are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of emergency calls. Chief James Clack needs to get a dose of reality and ride along with a busy medic unit for four 14-hour nights. I feel confident that he would change his tune.

Bill Hennick, Baltimore

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