Effective July 1, the new fire service agreement between the City of Salisbury and Wicomico County went into effect. Under this agreement, SFD is responsible for covering all of their city and county territory, whether it be fire or EMS. What happens when other county stations have to come into City limits because SFD has failed to respond to the calls of service due to being on other calls at that time? What happened to their Volunteers that they have previously stated they have? Why are they not covering these calls?
Within the last several weeks, SFD has repeatedly failed to respond for 8+ minutes on some calls and as many as 15-20 minutes on others. When this happens other county stations are called into cover these calls, leading to an even longer response time. For instance, last week they were dispatched to a MVC with rollover on Hammond St. From initial dispatch, it took Salisbury 18 minutes to have a fire truck on scene because they were elsewhere and unable to respond immediately and NO RESPONSE from either volunteer station. Today, SFD was alerted to 2 separate reported AFA's at Sam's Club and Hobby Lobby at the same time. Once, no volunteer response and AC Darrin Scott responded and was first person on scene. This happens all the time, no matter the time of day.
My point here is simple. Since the volunteers from Station 1 left, or were forced to leave prior to their intended separation date, the city has been struggling to respond to calls due in large part to there not being a volunteer response out of Station 2 or Station 16. They are trying to keep up with the call volume and it's not working. They are spreading themselves too thin trying to keep up with it all because their egos are too big to work things out with the volunteers that left.
SFD is putting lives at risk because they simply think they can do it all and clearly they can't. 18 minutes to respond to a serious accident is simply unacceptable and could have been avoided had they had dedicated volunteers left in the city that actually showed up to respond to these instances.
An easy solution to this issue would be for Jake Day or Bob Culver to put their pride aside for once and put their residents first and pull the fire agreement which apparently they both have the option to do. From the understanding I have from the media, it was reported as stated by Jake Day on Sunday, May 7th in the Daily Times and on several other occasions, they were willing to allow the volunteers to service calls to the east of the RT 50 Bypass, but now they are stating that is not in the agreement and they never agreed to it?. If the agreement is pulled, this will allow for less territory the city will be responsible for, which will in turn improve on response times for SFD. Seems like it is all about money for SFD instead of the well being of the residents they serve.
In addition, why would the COUNTY COUNCIL and BOB CULVER agree to allow the CITY OF SALISBURY to dictate what happens outside of city territory? They should have no say in the ins and outs of the rest on the county especially when it comes to territory. This has extremely angered me as a COUNTY resident. This agreement means that I am giving my hard earned money to the City of Salisbury. If I wanted to support the city, I would have chosen to move inside city limits instead of in the county. This is unacceptable in itself. This agreement screws everyone except SFD.
WAKE UP BOB CULVER AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE SERIOUS ISSUES THAT DIRECTLY AFFECT THE SAFETY AND WELL BEING OF YOUR CONSTITUENTS.
WAKE UP JAKE DAY AND OWN UP TO THE FACT THAT SFD HAS NOT AND CANNOT POSSIBLY SERVICE THE AREAS THEY ARE EXPECTED TO WITHOUT THE VOLUNTEER SERVICE BACKING THEM UP.