A Packed House for the Wicomico County Firefighters Association - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

A Packed House for the Wicomico County Firefighters Association Meeting

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(Photo; WBOC) (Photo; WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - More than 100 people came out to the Wicomico County Firefighters Association Meeting on Tuesday.

President of the Salisbury Fire Department Tri Townsend said that normally only about 60 people show up to these meetings but Tuesday night almost 150 people showed up.

Most of the firefighters came with one thing on their minds, Company No. 1.

On Feb. 22, Company No. 1 announced they planned to separate from the city's fire department starting July 1st, 2017. The following day, Salisbury Mayor Jake Day and Salisbury Fire Chief Richard Hoppes said Company One was under performing and alluded to a staffing issue. The day after that, volunteers from Company One said those allegations were inaccurate. Since then, Company One has been waiting for the Fire Chiefs Association to have their meeting to discuss the issue.

"When something like this happens everyone wants to get in and really hear what's going on they want to hear it straight from the horse's mouth I guess. They want to know what's going on, people are concerned," Townsend said.

Salisbury Fire Chief Richard Hoppes said that while he is disappointed with how this has unfolded over the past month, the show must go on.

"I'm saddened and disappointed and embarrassed. I am all of those emotions, but as managers of fire and EMS provisions in the city of Salisbury fire district, we will continue to provide that service to the very best of our ability and work through our differences as best we can, " Hoppes said.

Chief Hoppes also said with 14 stations already existing in Wicomico County, he doesn't want to see another one added to the list.

He said they were given recommendations by an independent contractor that was hired by the city and county and they made it clear that they did not need a 15th station to be added to the county. Hoppes said the contractor told them "That Wicomico County had the correct amount of fire stations within its boundaries so if the question is do I support standing up another fire station the answer would be no."

In the end, the final stamp of approval will come from the Fire Chiefs Association and the Wicomico County Council.

The Fire Chiefs Association meeting will be next Wednesday.
 

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