|Press Release - MSFA Remarks about Salisbury Volunteers Locked Out|
|By MSFA President Michael Davis|
|March 9, 2017|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Maryland State Firemen’s Association (the MSFA) was formed in 1893, and its members include over 300 volunteer fire, rescue, and EMS companies throughout the state. "The mission of the Maryland State Firemen's Association is to serve, promote, advocate, and represent the interests of the Volunteer Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Medical Services of Maryland."
Adhering to our mission statement, we the MSFA, intend to help any volunteer fire company and protect what is rightfully theirs as provided to them through the trust of our fellow citizens. Allowing a paid or career fire department to simply take what is not rightfully theirs is unacceptable and irresponsible.
On February 22, 2017, approximately 10 volunteer fire fighters from Salisbury Fire Department Inc., Company No. 1 (Salisbury Station 1) voted to end their affiliation with the City of Salisbury as of July 1, 2017, and to move out of city owned facilities into a new facility outside of the Salisbury city limits. There are three volunteer fire companies within the City of Salisbury. Each of those fire companies is a separate corporation and each of the volunteer fire companies receives financial assistance from Wicomico County and the State of Maryland, including funds provided by the Maryland Military Department to volunteer fire companies. Upon receiving notice that the volunteers would be leaving in July, the City of Salisbury immediately evicted the volunteers from the Station.
The President of the MSFA, Michael A. Davis, has reached out to the Maryland Military Department, Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver, and the City of Salisbury. Maryland Military Department has been responsive and is researching the situation. Mr. Culver has expressed sincere interest to assist in this matter. Two calls to the City of Salisbury have not been returned despite expressing the urgency of this matter.
President Davis states “The Maryland State Firemen's Association does not condone the actions of the City of Salisbury locking out the volunteers and seizing the property of Salisbury Station 1. We kindly ask the City of Salisbury to allow the volunteers to have what is rightfully theirs, specifically equipment which was paid for by Salisbury Station 1 with county and state funding. We feel it is very unfortunate that the volunteer department wants to separate from the combination system but it is their right to do as they see fit to provide much needed emergency services to their citizens.”
60.5 % of fire and emergency services are provided by volunteers in the State of Maryland (data provided by usfa.fema.gov). Volunteer firefighters save counties an average of more than $60 Million annually. In this day and time, with declining volunteerism, an increase in training requirements, and average homes with 2 working parents, actions like these are detrimental to serving and protecting our neighbors. Volunteer Firefighter's, EMT's, and Rescue workers dedicate their lives to protecting their fellow man, woman, and child no matter the situation, economic status, or political interest.
The MSFA fully intends to use all available local, state, and nationwide resources available to help the Salisbury Station 1 with this matter, just as we would with any of our volunteer fire companies.
For additional information please contact: Michael Davis, MSFA President, email@example.com