Volunteer Fire Departments in Prince George's County Face Crisis as County Fire Chief's Decisions Spark Controversy and Threaten Public Safety
In a startling turn of events, we, the volunteer fire departments in Prince George's County, find ourselves grappling with the repercussions of decisions made by the County Fire Chief, raising significant concerns about the viability of our cherished volunteer firefighter system. Since the onset of the current administration, we have witnessed a series of unsupported actions, from the withdrawal of financial support to obstacles in our recruitment efforts. The situation took a critical turn with the County Fire Chief seizing control of the Fire Commission's responsibilities and budgeting, as stipulated in General Order Number 01-28 (November 2023). The recent release of General Order 05-19 has only heightened tensions, reshaping our long-standing revenue-sharing plan and imposing strict restrictions on fund usage. This alarming scenario extends to delays in receiving crucial Amoss funds, leaving us at risk of repossession and financial instability. Moreover, we are now contending with unfair disciplinary practices, limited appeal rights, and a hindered recruitment process. As the backbone of emergency response for over 120 years, we, the volunteer firefighters, face the looming threat of marginalization in a county that boasts the nation's largest combination fire department. The pressing concern is not just about our future but the potential repercussions for public safety as a whole.
Please see the attached Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association Statement, attached.