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Baltimore fire industry unions oppose proposed bill


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Two unions which represent firefighters in Baltimore City have come out in oppositions of a proposed bill, that members of the City Council said will keep department members safe when responding to vacant house fires.

Both the Baltimore Firefighters Association and the Baltimore Fire Officers Association have expressed opposition to the bill known as the Firefighter Safety Act in a May 17 letter to the City Council.

This proposed bill would mandate firefighters to only work from the outside when battling flames from vacant buildings unless they can confirm that someone is inside trapped or that conditions are safe enough to go in. It also calls for firefighters to wear thermal imaging cameras while at fire scenes.

The unions said the bill complicates their existing protocols, and are asking the council to reconsider.

The letter of opposition concluded by saying: “While we can never make an incident scene completely safe from injury or death, we will continue to pursue the latest technology and refine our methods to make it as safe as we can.

“Having said that, the fireground is inherently unsafe. We cannot support legislation that seems poised to unreasonably restrict us from the performance of our duties.”

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