[cifnmedia] Fire chief proposes changes to ease conflict - delmarvanow.com

  • From: <gmcgrath@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Sean Aaron" <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Brad Dietrick" <bradfurniturefirst@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 09:52:58 -0400

Fire chief proposes changes to ease conflict - delmarvanow.com
      Home    News    Obituaries    Entertainment    Classifieds    Coupons    
Homes    Cars    Jobs    Customer Service 
            Website (7 days)
            Archive (2002-)
               » More search     
              Local News 
              Local Sports 
              Space & Science 
              Traffic cams 
              The Daily Times 
              Chincoteague Beacon 
              Delaware Beachcomber 
              Delaware Coast Press 
              Delaware Wave 
              Eastern Shore News 
              Maryland Beachcomber 
              Maryland Times-Press 
              Ocean Pines
              Somerset Herald 
              Worcester Messenger 

            Customer Service 
            Partner Sites 


              Monday, July 5, 2004  

                   Local News 

            Fire chief proposes changes to ease conflict

            By Joe E. Carmean Jr.
            Daily Times Staff Writer 

            SALISBURY -- Fire Chief David See said he wants to make changes to 
Salisbury's embattled fire department that he hopes will end the conflicts with 
volunteer firefighters that have plagued the city for more than a year. 

            "The chief is making some recommendations that are go-ing to better 
define the organization and help everybody understand where they fit in," City 
Councilman Gary Comegys said. "Hopefully these changes will eliminate some of 
the gray areas that have caused contention." 

            The city charter does not include that three independent volunteer 
corporations serve the Salisbury Fire Department, See said. 

            But John Bartkovich, vice president of Salisbury's Station 2 
volunteer fire company, said they will cease to be independent corporations 
once they are added to the charter. 

            "They don't think the volunteers are going to go for that," he said 
Friday. "What happens next I don't know. I assume we become part of the charter 
or not be part of the city fire department." 

            See said the code change will mean the city will recognize 
officially the volunteer corporations as part of the Salisbury Fire Department. 

            "Joining all three volunteer stations into one or removing their 
independent nonprofit status has never been the intention and is absolutely not 
the case," he said Friday. "But, the city is also not going to recognize any 
corporation and expect them not to adhere to the rules, regulations and 
policies of the charter. We're committed to a true combination fire 

            See said other changes will target volunteers who are not 
maintaining fitness and training requirements. 

            "We're trying to establish who our active volunteer members are," 
he said. "We want to know who qualifies as an active service provider and 
identify deficiencies to get those members up to where we need them to be." 

            The charter now recognizes 105 active volunteers. See said the 
amendments will increase the number to 120. 

            In some cases, volunteer companies garner funding from Wicomico 
County. See said his proposed charter changes will not force volunteers to 
relinquish funds to the city. 

            "There will be committees established at the volunteer companies 
who will work with the fire chief to make sure money is spent appropriately," 
he said. "... if (volunteer firefighters) are willing to take a real hard look 
at what we're trying to do, they will see that it is the right thing for the 
fire department." 

            City Council President Mike Dunn said the five-member City Council 
agrees there needs to be a "firm line of command pointing to the fire chief." 

            "Some of the volunteers believe they have a volunteer line of 
command and a professional line of command," he said. "We believe there needs 
to be one line with a volunteer and professional component." 

            Dunn said council members want to re-establish order in the fire 

            "We're not trying to do anything to the volunteer culture because 
we need it, but we can't continue having these rebellions," he said. "It's not 
good for the city, so we're trying to take care of our problem." 

            But Harold Scott, Station 2 president, said city officials are 
attempting to take control away from the volunteer companies. 

            "This is the way they can get rid of Station 2," he said. 

            Comegys said the charter changes are designed to clarify the 
volunteer companies' roles in the Salisbury Fire Department. 

            "It is going to define the chief's power and (the volunteers') 
power and once you clarify those roles, it will clear up some of these issues 
we've been having. There is no defined law or policy, so in the absence of that 
it's left up to everybody's interpretation," he said. "I'm just hoping we can 
put an end to all of this fighting and get back to working toward the mission 
of serving the community." 

            Reach Joe E. Carmean Jr. at 410-845-4635 or 

            Originally published Monday, July 5, 2004


            Home | News | Obituaries | Entertainment | Classifieds
            Coupons | Homes | Cars | Jobs | Customer Service 

           Contact Us | Subscribe | Place an ad 
      Copyright ©2004 DelmarvaNow. All rights reserved.
      Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service
      (Terms updated 12/20/2002)

GIF image

GIF image

GIF image

GIF image

GIF image

GIF image

GIF image

GIF image

GIF image

Other related posts:

  • » [cifnmedia] Fire chief proposes changes to ease conflict - delmarvanow.com