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Hagerstown officials remain committed to hospitalized fire chief

(Hagerstown-AP) -- Hagerstown officials say they're still
committed to Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker, who's been hospitalized for
nearly four months with a rare immune system disorder.
City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman says the department is
running well right now, and he wants to give Hawbaker more time to
get back to work.
The chief was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or G-B-S,
at the end of December. Since then, he's been in one unit or
another at Frederick Memorial Hospital.
The disease affects the brain and spinal cord and can cause
paralysis. The cause is unknown, and doctors say there's no
effective treatment.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)