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Md. resident, local leaders file lawsuit over career firefighter staffing change

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Tiffany Green is removing career firefighters from four firehouses and relocating to fill in gaps in other firehouses

By Bill Carey
FireRescue1

BERWYN HEIGHTS, Md. — A Berwyn Heights resident and municipal leaders are suing Prince George’s County for relocating firefighters from their communities.

The Prince George’s County Fire & EMS chief has moved firefighters from four stations to address staffing shortages elsewhere, NBC Washington reported.

Fire Chief Tiffany Green relocated 24 career firefighters from Station 835 in Greenbelt, five from Station 839 in Bowie, six from Station 814 Berwyn Heights and 20 from Station 855 in Bunker Hill, according to NBC Washington.

“We have reached out to the county,” said Jodie Kulpa-Eddy, Berwyn Heights resident and former elected official. “We were trying to have some discussions with them but there didn’t seem to be any movement on their part.”

The relocation began on June 30 and will be reevaluated in October.

The local governments of Berwyn Heights, College Park, and Greenbelt have gone to court to block the plan.

Green says relocating 55 firefighters is necessary to address shortages and prevent burnout during the peak summer vacation season, ensuring safety will not be impacted. She said firefighters are stressed and some are leaving the job.

“The 55 personnel that we are redeploying are going into existing vacancies throughout the county,” Green said. “That’s the goal, again, to ensure that they’re not called back for mandatory overtime and holdovers, but we are filling the existing vacancies and spreading out our resources throughout the entire county,”

The Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association also opposes the plan, stating it will cause longer response times and take stations out of service during the day.

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