The Baltimore City Council plans to summon Fire Department leaders for hearings after an aging firetruck caught fire and amid warnings from the firefighters' union about the agency’s readiness to respond to emergencies.
Councilman Brandon Scott, chairman of the public safety committee, said the first hearing will be one of a series to keep a closer watch on the department.
“It’s a direct response to citizen complaints about the Fire Department and service,” Scott said.
The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 19.
Over Christmas, the International Association of Firefighters Local 734, the city firefighters’ union, said two stations were temporarily out of service because they lacked equipment, making the department slower to respond.
A department spokeswoman said then that its ability to provide emergency services was not affected, but Mayor Catherine Pugh subsequently set into motion plans to buy an extra $1.2 million firetruck.
Then, last month, a firetruck caught fire — and it wasn’t the first time it’s happened in Baltimore. The union said the truck was 17 years old.