From City Council President Jack Young:

On Wednesday, October 10, 2012, the Baltimore City Council’s Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee will hold two very important hearings related to fire protection and prevention.

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 fire companies.

Please plan on attending this very important hearing at City Hall, 100 N Holliday Street. Baltimore City needs a fully-funded fire department, and this is your opportunity to make sure your voice is heard — public safety is non-negotiable!

If you can’t attend the hearing, please contact your City Council representative and ask them to do the right thing — fully fund BCFD. Aren’t your family and your home worth it?

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