Arundel chief aims to hire more firefighters

(Annapolis-AP) -- Anne Arundel County Fire Chief Roger Simonds
is urging a committee studying his department's rising overtime tab
to recommend adding as many as 180 firefighters to the 630-member
department.
Some county officials have questioned many of the department's
long-standing policies and have hinted that they may recommend
major reforms.
Simonds' plan would let him put an additional person on every
piece of fire equipment and double the number of medical units in
the county. But it comes with a ten-point-five (m) million dollar
price tag in the first year alone.
The county is projecting a nearly seven (m) million dollar
shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July first. A spokesman
for County Executive Janet Owens says it's unlikely the county
could spend that kind of money.

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