Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A surprising reversal for the Baltimore Fire Department. Amid protests, the mayor announced one of the fire companies set to shut down will actually be able to stay open–and it’s all thanks to money from Baltimore’s Grand Prix races.
Kai Jackson spoke with thankful neighbors.
The money to keep the truck operating came just in the nick of time. The councilman fighting for it says you can’t put a price on the lives that could be saved.
Baltimore City Truck 10 on Lafayette Street has been operating since 1967, but years of service to this West Baltimore neighborhood was in jeopardy. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said budget cuts were forcing her to close Truck 10, but money from the Baltimore Grand Prix is saving Truck 10.
“The Grand Prix is a positive economic development generator for the city,” Rawlings-Blake said.
The city says $500,000 in overdue taxes from last year and $900,000 in revenue and savings this year will provide $1.4 million to keep Truck 10 open. It’s critical funds for things like personnel, equipment, training and more.
“One additional company staying open frees up other firefighters to do their job, so everyone is safer because Company 10 remains open,” said Baltimore City Councilman Pete Welch.
The truck component of a fire company provides search and rescue and ventilates buildings after fires start. Residents around here say they’re glad it’s staying. They’ve seen these firefighters in action and appreciate the life-saving work they do.
“I think that’s great. We need it. ‘Cause there’s a lot of fire going on in Baltimore City,” said resident Jhaiyah Johnson.
“I think it’s a good idea because I been around here all my life and they respond quickly to all the fires that I know of around here,” said resident Tavon Miller.
This money keeps Truck 10 open for another year. Welch says the issue will be revisited next year.