Councilwoman Proposes Restrictions For Firefighters Entering Vacant Structures

What’s happening?

Councilwoman Danielle McCray has introduced a bill that puts restrictions on when Baltimore City firefighters can enter a vacant building that’s on fire and requires the first-responders to wear body-worn cameras, reports Emily Opilo for The Baltimore Sun. 

The proposal is in response to the deaths of three firefighters who were killed fighting a blaze in a vacant home in Mount Clare last month. 

What are the perameters in this bill? 

The bill proposes that firefighters only enter a building if a victim is inside, less than 25% of the structure is consumed by the fire, and “structural and hazardous conditions permit a safe entry.” Further, they can only enter a collapsed building if someone’s life is in immediate danger. 

Anything else I should know? 

While the councilmember’s legislation is derived from best practices from the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, she did not consult local fire union officials, according to Rich Langford, president of the Baltimore Firefighters Local 734, who rejected the proposal for body-worn cameras to protect sensitive information during medical calls. 

Read more here


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