Maryland ambulance not removed in protest

Morningside's VFD said it would pull its county ambulance in a dispute over staffing levels. Photo: ABC7

SUITLAND, Md. (WJLA) - The fire department that serves the small community of Morningside in Prince George's County will not remove a Prince George's County ambulance from its station Monday, but the flap between the department and the county is not over.

The volunteer firefighters who staff Morningside's station were expected to remove a county ambulance in a protest over the county's new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

A row emerged last week between Prince George's County Fire and the Morningside Volunteer Fire Company when the volunteers informed the county that its ambulance would no longer be welcome at their Suitland Road station.

According to the county's new CBA with its fire union, a change in career firefighter staffing requirements would leave Morningside with only volunteers to staff its station on nights, weekends and holidays.

In response, Morningside, which has to date declined to staff its station with four career firefighters 24 hours per day, told the county that it would take its county ambulance out of service.

However, on Monday, Morningside's staff said in a statement that they would keep the ambulance in service and continued to ask county fire officials to meet with them.

Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor slammed the idea that Morningside and its volunteer fire chief, Michael White, would even think about taking the county ambulance off the streets.

“Their decision will compromise the safety of our citizens and residents, which I will not stand for it," Bashoor said Friday in a statement.