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Harford County Executive Withdraws Fire, EMS Bill

Executive David Craig announced Monday his plans to withdraw a bill that would establish a fire and EMS commission.

 

announced Monday his plan to withdraw a bill that would have established a fire and EMS commission for the county.

The bill was pending before the Harford County Council when Craig made the announcement.

The bill was designed to create "an advisory body to examine fire and EMS related matters and provide recommendations to the county executive regarding such issues," according to a release from the county executive's office.

The commission was among the top recommendations that came out of . At the time, Craig issued a an executive order to create the commission.

"At that time, the leadership and certain members of the fire service community took issue with the commission and chose to fight the administration on the need for the commission," Craig said in a statement.

Craig said that when the council moved forward on establishing the Fire and EMS Commission into law they were met with critics "from some segments of the fire service and other elected officials."

The release stated that Craig would address issues concerning the fire service in the near future.

Not all of the county council members agreed with Craig's decision, according to a report on ExploreHarford.com.

At Tuesday's council meeting, Council President Billy Boniface and Councilmen Jim McMahan and Joe Woods came to the defense of the fire service.

"Boniface criticized Craig's assertion last week that the Harford County Fire & EMS Association's amendments gutted the bill. The association wanted to require that more of their members be on the commission," according to the ExploreHarford.com story.

Woods expressed shock at Craig's actions, saying he was under the impression that the interested parties were nearing an agreement, according to the ExploreHarford.com report.

What do you think of the county executive's action? Do you think a Fire and EMS Commission is important for Harford County? Why or why not? Start the discussion by leaving a comment below.

I Know May 04, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Why does Craig not stand up to the Vol. Dept. He does not give hoot about his regular county workers. But this year giving 7.2 mill. so all the Vol. can make the rules. Why do they need so much, I'm sure that ambulance billing is a cash cow. One leader not twelve opinions.
spencer May 04, 2012 at 11:59 AM
they need the money for upkeep of apparatus, equipment for new members which can cost a few thousand dollars per person, insurance for when the members are out on calls, and many more things.
spencer May 04, 2012 at 12:09 PM
their not just paying for ambulatory supplies. i know that at bavfc they have to sometimes run paid paramedics because of all of the medical calls. each fire truck can range from $450,000 for an engine, $550,000 for a ladder and $650,000 for a rescue truck and they need to be kept in working order which is not cheap. at least were not having the issues with having to pay the firefighters and staff like baltimore and philadelphia which have had to cut some companies and probably cost lives in the process such as brown outs which is when a company is put out of service to save money. we are very fortunate to have people that are willing to risk their lives to go into a burning building and drag people out for almost free other than a tax break which is only issued after 6 years of service. i know this because im applying to bavfc as a cadet and have done a little research.
Another Citizen May 10, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Just remember with having the great VOLUNTEERS that we have in this county, not one engine/truck company or ambulance crew has ever been shut down due to budget cuts. If you want a career system you will get career problems. Each volunteer saves the citizens of Harford County $36,000+/year. By standards Harford County can stand with most career departments on response times, staffing, training, etc. There is room for improvement but there is room for improvement in any jurisdiction. Exec Craig doesn't care about the citizens, he only cares about his ego.
spencer June 21, 2012 at 02:45 PM
not only does it save money but i know at bavfc some if not most of the firefighters there are career firefighters with bwi, baltimore county, baltimore city, etc. they are excellently trained by maryland fire rescue institute and in order to stay a member of the company they have to run a minimum amount of calls each year. it saves the county time and money with having to deal with another union because the teachers union needs as much of the counties time as they can get

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