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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Question Maryland Regulations

    Can our Maryland brothers elaborate on this? What exactly does this mean for MD FF's?

    SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - State Labor Department officials said that
    concerns rural volunteer fire companies have about meeting the
    costs of recently accepted state standards are the result of a
    misunderstanding.
    A letter sent earlier this month to fire and rescue companies
    throughout Maryland and obtained by The (Salisbury) Daily Times
    states that the new regulations are intended to "develop a
    standard applicable to, and protective of, all firefighters and
    rescue personnel in the state, whether paid or volunteer."
    The standards were drafted over three years by a committee of
    fire chiefs and representatives of the Maryland State Firemen's
    Association, the Maryland State and District of Columbia
    Professional Firefighters and the state Department of Labor,
    Licensing and Regulation.
    The Maryland Fire Service Health and Safety Consensus Standard
    includes guidelines for extensive physical evaluations,
    departmental fitness programs, substance abuse programs, equipment
    standards, appointment of a health and safety officer, facility
    safety and even workplace violence prevention.
    Some Eastern Shore fire officials claimed the costs of training
    and meeting the other standards would be hard to meet at small,
    volunteer fire companies.
    However, Karen Napolitano, a DLLR spokeswoman, said the
    standards - which go into effect in two years - include a
    contingency that funding must be available if they are to be
    implemented. That contingency was not mentioned in the letters that
    went out, Napolitano said.
    "We do want them to meet the standard, but we do realize
    there's a financial component to it," she said.
    DLLR Secretary John O'Connor sent out a new letter Friday to the
    Maryland State Firemen's Association restating that full
    implementation at volunteer companies is dependent on funding.
    Napolitano said it's too early to speculate on possible funding
    sources, but a financial committee including representatives of the
    same groups that agreed on the standards is looking into it.
    Charles Fisher, a member of the Mounty Vernon Volunteer Fire
    Company and a Somerset County Commissioner, was one of those
    sounding the alarm after the letters went out about the new
    standards.
    "If these regulations are enforced and it's carried through,
    there is no way local government or any county can afford to pick
    up the tab, and I think there's very few fire companies that are
    going to be able to pick up that tab," Fisher said.
    Del. Norman Conway, D-Wicomico, a volunteer firefighter in
    Salisbury for 40 years, said it's not just the cost, but the time
    requirement of the regulations that has some volunteers concerned.
    "There's a number of (standards) that potentially could be
    barriers to getting young people involved in the fire service," he
    said.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber CJMinick390's Avatar
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    NJ,

    First I've heard of this, but it doesn't surprise me. The guy in the trenches is usually the last to hear about the stuff that most obviously affects him. Sounds to me like this proposal is dead in the water politically because I don't think the state will follow through with the funding. I also think the howls of protest are just beginning. I'm sure this will be a big topic of discussion on the Maryland State Volunteer Firemen's Convention this week.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

    These statements are mine and mine alone
    I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it

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