BALTIMORE — Starting next month, the Baltimore City Fire Department will reduce the number of engines, trucks and battalion chiefs it sends out on any fire calls, in an attempt to have more units available for medical calls and other emergencies.
Under the policy that takes effect Sept. 1, three engines, one truck and one battalion chief truck will respond to every fire call.
Currently five engines, two trucks and two battalion chief trucks are sent out on calls.
Officials with the local firefighters union are criticizing the move.
“Our members were notified of changes that will take effect on 9/1 on how we respond to dwelling fires. This local is against any changes that will lower the amount of units on a initial response. This not only puts our members in danger but the citizens of Baltimore,” union officials tweeted.
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young told WBAL-TV 11’s David Collins he had been briefed on the changes, and called them “a test” to determine if this is the best way for the fire department to use its resources more efficiently. He said firefighters can always call for extra equipment if needed.
Young said he does not believe the changes put safety at risk.