Md. state lawmaker says it’s time for a ‘firemen’ name change

Maryland State Sen. Cheryl Kagan says it’s “past time” for the Maryland State Firemen’s Association to change its name.

Kagan called the current name “sexist” and “inaccurate.”

Kagan, who serves as Chair of the Next Generation 9-1-1 Commission, told WTOP that three Maryland counties have fire departments that are led by women: Chief Tiffany Green in Prince George’s County, Chief Joanne Rund in Baltimore County and Chief Trisha Wolford in Anne Arundel County.

In recruitment videos on its website, the Maryland State Firemen’s Association profiles women who’ve joined departments across the state.

The association also has a video promoting the fact that volunteers come from “all walks of life.”

Kagan said the women “deserve the respect of naming an organization that includes them.”

The MSFA is holding its annual convention and conference in Ocean City this month, and Kagan said she’s hopeful that the membership will vote to change the name, an issue she’s raised with the group before.

“Maryland likes to think of itself as pretty inclusive, pretty egalitarian, pretty progressive, and yet we’re in the 19th century, not even the 20th century, with an organization called firemen,” she said.

WTOP contacted the organization for comment, but did not receive a response.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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