In 2009 our community was struggling to keep fire fighters and paramedics on the frontlines. But with the assistance of our Fire-Rescue Administration, County Administrator and the Board of Supervisors, we applied for and were awarded a $575,100.00 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response [SAFER] grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
That grant provided crucial funding for our fire department and our community, allowing us to add five fire fighters to our fire department. But that grant will run out October 1st. And while our county officials are re-applying for a new SAFER grant that will fund those positions, there is no guarantee that our community will receive one.
So your Caroline County fire fighters and paramedics are urging our Board of Supervisors to make a commitment to public safety by retaining the five positions in our department even after the SAFER grant runs out. To preserve public safety in Caroline County, we must find a way to preserve those five positions.
If we lose five fire fighters, it is nearly certain that one ambulance and two fire trucks will be taken out of service. Not only would that result in a drastic reduction of public safety resources, it means it will take us longer to respond in an emergency. Our ability to respond to more than incident at a time will also be jeopardized. In an emergency you need us to show up as fast as possible with enough fire fighters to safely and effectively extinguish a fire, perform a rescue or provide live-saving medical care. Having too few fire fighters on the job, is a direct threat to public safety.
Your Caroline County fire fighters and paramedics take their duty to protect life and property very seriously. We are sworn to protect you. Our Board of Supervisors must share this responsibility by making a commitment to maintain public safety resources, and we must consider all measures to maintain public safety.
Even in the worst of times, public safety must be among our highest priorities. Please help your Caroline County fire fighters and paramedics keep our community and our neighborhoods safe and urge your Caroline Supervisor to fund the fire fighter and paramedic positions our department currently has.
P. Ryan Abernathy
Caroline County Professional Firefighters Association
I.A.F.F. Local 4314