USA9 is reporting that Prince George's county is replacing paid professional firefighters with
I'm all for Volunteer firefighters in areas where there usually isn't much of a choice, like the township I grew up in back in Ohio. Because of a variety of reasons, my township had a volunteer fire and rescue squad, but it was never staffed 100% of the time. There weren't enough volunteers for this nor housing or funding. Volunteers got called in when something happened. And these guys (all were men when I grew up) lived close to the fire hall. In rural areas, this doesn't sound like a bad idea, but in Prince Georges county?
9NEWS NOW made it from the Calverton Fire Station to an ambulance call on nearby Evans Trail in about 90-seconds after Willie Smith's niece called 911. PGFD Chief Spokesman Mark Brady confirms it took about 8-minutes for the closest ambulance to arrive on the scene. It was staffed by volunteers from Branchville about 4-miles away.
8 minutes doesn't sound too bad to me for emergency response time, but in PG county, it doesn't actually sound that good. I lived only 3 miles from the fire hall in rural Ohio. And this was on the edge of the township. PG should be able to do better than rural Ohio. Again, from USA9 (local CBS news).
With limited money available to pay out overtime, Prince George's County says it can't staff fire stations with paid firefighters the way it used to. Brady says, "We are trying to make the best use of the resources we have".
Best use of resources?
County officials say that worked in at least four stations on Wednesday, but as 9NEWS NOW confirmed the Calverton Fire Station was left unstaffed throughout the day.
PG county should hire new firefighters and stop relying on Overtime. Maybe then, PG can staff the firehouses, 'cause it's not looking as if they're doing it now, "volunteers" or not.