Baltimore fire union says new policy endangers responders

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore’s firefighters union is calling for the city’s fire department to reevaluate a new policy that reduces the number of responders dispatched to initial fire alarms, after they say firefighters were placed in “greater danger than necessary” during a call.

Union president Richard Altieri II said in a letter that the department responded to a report of someone trapped inside a burning building Sunday. Altieri says the call was designated a local alarm and 17 firefighters responded instead of the previous 30. He said they didn’t have “proper resources” to handle the entrapment. The Baltimore Sun reports the individual was severely injured.

The policy nearly halves the number of personnel responding to initial alarms as the department sees medical calls rise above those of fires.

Chief Roman Clark said the department’s looking into the incident.

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