Schablein: Importance of funding for local firefighters


One of the biggest problems our county is currently facing is the underfunding of the Salisbury Fire Department by our county government.

The Salisbury Fire Department is the busiest in the county, handling over 16,000 calls annually, with one-third of these calls serving county areas. The lack of adequate funding makes it more difficult for our first responders to maintain this high level of service and puts them at unnecessary risk of harm.

This is why it was so alarming when the proposed county budget a few weeks ago included a $600,000 cut to our firefighters. This cut would only exacerbate the problem and would most likely result in reduced services to the county portions currently receiving service from the Salisbury Fire Department, affecting homes, businesses, and schools.

That is why myself and so many in our community are thankful that Councilman Josh Hastings stood up for our first responders when he introduced and passed a budget amendment to add an additional $200,000 in funding to our volunteer and career firefighters. This crucial funding is a major step towards addressing the problem and provides essential resources to the members of our community who protect us every day.

We should all commend Councilman Hastings for refusing to put county residents at risk of losing fire service and for championing our local first responders.

However, it is also important to acknowledge the continued advocacy of the Salisbury Career Firefighters Local 4246, who have educated our community on this issue and represented our firefighters. While the additional funding is a positive step, it is crucial that in the next county budget, the county government follows Councilman Josh Hastings’ lead and fully funds our firefighters.

Jared Schablein
Salisbury resident

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