Salisbury Fire Company No. 1 Responds to Mayor - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Fire Company No. 1 Responds to Mayor

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Salisbury Fire Department, Station 1.  (Photo: WBOC) Salisbury Fire Department, Station 1. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - Leadership at the Salisbury Fire Department Company No. 1 have responded to Salisbury Mayor Jake Day and statements the mayor made during his press conference on Thursday.

Company leadership sent out a press release late Wednesday night stating their intentions to leave the Salisbury Fire Department on July 1st.  Company leadership stated in their press release there was failed mediation between the company, city, and fire department which prompted their decision to leave.  According to the press release sent out Wednesday night, the volunteer company would leave the SFD and move to a new location and continue to serve the Wicomico County community as their own fire department.

Thursday, Salisbury Mayor Jake Day held a press conference in front of Station One on Beaglin Park Drive where Company No. 1 is based out of.  Mayor Day believed power was a main factor in this decision. 

"Volunteer corporations wanted to have a conversation about control. And in particular this one corporation wanted to express its desire not to have to report to the fire chief," Mayor Day said.

Salisbury Fire Chief, Richard Hoppes said a lawyer representing Company 1 contacted the city in January to mediate the issue for them. The city said they would be happy to meet with the volunteers but they did not want to.

Hoppes believed this could've been handled differently. He said, "They had never contacted me and said chief we'd like to talk. So, I was pretty shocked to be quite honest."

Mayor Day also said the station was not performing well. They recently had to add four paid staff members to make sure they were responding to citizens.

"They have a 50 percent fail rate right now. Greater than 50 percent fail rate in respond to those calls," 

Mayor day also said that he thinks the fact that they hired these new firefighters and EMT's at the station, might've upset their balance of power.

Friday evening, Company No. 1 sent out another press release responding to the Mayor and Fire Chief's comments.

Company leaders said since they announced their intentions to leave the SFD, they have been locked out of the station and threatened with criminal trespassing charges.  The Friday night press release also said the volunteers who plan to leave July 1st have no resigned from the current positions with the Salisbury Fire Department.

The Company also disputed Mayor's statement that the station has not been performing well and said when it comes to the leadership issue, the company made a suggestion that their superiors, who would report directly to Chief Hoppes, should be chosen by the volunteers in the company.

Company No. 1 leaders said they remain ready and willing to serve in the SFD until the July 1st date when their intention remains to break away and start their own fire department in a new location.

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