County News

Division of Emergency Services Receives Authorization to Move Forward with Firefighter Staffing Plan

January 14, 2020

HAGERSTOWN, MD (January 14, 2020) – The Board of County Commissioners voted to authorize the final planning and implementation for the Division of Emergency Services regional staffing plan. This plan will deploy firefighters in 4 strategic locations across Washington County, Maryland.

County Commissioner President Jeffrey Cline said, "Today, more than ever, supporting our emergency responders is a top priority. Perhaps, on the worst day of your life our emergency responders are there to answer your calls. Providing the mechanisms and necessary funding is paramount to provide safety to our community now and into the future."

The authorization of this plan will allow the Division of Emergency Services to hire 3 firefighter/paramedics from the FY2020 budget and to submit an application for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant (SAFER) to hire 27 additional firefighters for the FY2021 budget.

The Board also approved the hiring of 6 additional firefighters--3 in Rhorersville and 3 in Hancock. This plan includes the hiring of 36 firefighters in Washington County.

Dave Hays, director of the Division of Emergency Services, said, "Today's action by the Board continues its investment in public safety in Washington County. It also reinforces the Board's commitment to our volunteer services and the valuable contributions they make every day. Our hope is this is the beginning of a new future and continued support for the future of emergency services and its continued needs."

In regards to the approval of the staffing plan, Dale Fishack, president of the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association said, "It showed strong support to the volunteers that the Commissioners are willing to help augment the struggles we are having to operate apparatuses and put boots on the street. Today also showed the ability to display the value of volunteers by incentivizing them for their efforts in responding to calls, continuing education, and raising funds to enhance facilities and apparatus. It is important to recognize the companies for what they do in responding and producing effective results."

Today's approval provides an additional $5.5 million annual investment in public safety.

For additional information, please contact Washington County's Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380 or pr@washco-md.net.

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