The citizens of Baltimore received great news Tuesday when Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced an end to the planned closure of one of the city's busiest fire companies. Truck 10 will remain open through the end of the current fiscal year, the mayor announced.
And in one week the City Council will hold a pair of important hearings about the future of fire safety and prevention in Baltimore.
The hearings are a result of legislation I introduced that would require a public hearing be held prior to the Fire Department consolidating, relocating or closing any fire suppression, emergency medical care or truck companies.
The first hearing begins at 5:00 p.m. and will consider an ordinance (12-0115) that would notify citizens in advance of any public hearing related to changes to Fire Department suppression, emergency medical care or truck companies. The ordinance would also provide citizens with information used to determine the outcome.
The second hearing is on a resolution (12-0061R) that calls on Fire Chief James S. Clack, Finance Director Harry Black and City Solicitor George Nilson to explain how the recent fire company closures impact the city’s Comprehensive Fire Protection Plan.
Both hearings will take place at City Hall in Council Chambers.
My resolution also requests updates on the city’s level of compliance with national standards for training, safety and response to fire emergencies. I will also be seeking copies of the city’s 2009 Comprehensive Fire Protection Plan.
During the summer I attempted to save three fire companies slated for closure as part of my Plan for a Better Baltimore. My proposal identified modifications to the Mayor’s proposed $2.8 billion budget that would have allowed the city to fully invest in public safety initiatives. And recently the administration discovered an extra $4 million in revenue collected from speed cameras – money that should be used to immediately re-open the remaining closed fire companies and prevent the closure of Truck 10.
Please plan to join me on Wednesday, October 10, as we work to make sure that fire companies are not shuttered in the future without proper input from the citizens of Baltimore.
WHAT: Hearings about changes to the Baltimore City Fire Department.
WHEN: Wednesday, October 10 at 5 p.m.
WHERE: City Hall, 4th Floor, 100 N. Holliday Street