BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore City Fire Department may be wasting money on take-home vehicles, a new report from the city inspector general found.
According to the report issued Wednesday, seven of the department’s take-home vehicles are assigned to members who travel to work from out of state. One travels nearly 60 miles each way from Queen Anne’s County. The members commute around 100,000 miles per year with more than $63,000 in annual maintenance and repair costs.READ MORE: More Than 1,000 Students In Quarantine In Anne Arundel County; County Executive Supports Vaccine Mandate For All Students
Three of the department’s shift commanders live out of state. Their rotating schedules require they commute to the city 10 to 15 days per month. Shift commanders are assigned a take-home vehicle in addition to a vehicle their office uses for on-duty travel. Fire Chief Niles Ford told investigators a shift commander would use their take-home vehicle to respond to an emergency while they are on-call. Ford said senior members are briefed while en route to an emergency. However, a city policy analyst said a fire department member who lives out of state cannot reasonably be expected to quickly respond to an emergency. Furthermore, take-home vehicles crossing jurisdictional lines present a possible risk and liability to the city.READ MORE: Residents & Business Owners Question The Future Of The Inner Harbor's Gallery Mall
The inspector general found that other Maryland departments typically set distance requirements based on the station closest to the member’s home and require the member to park their assigned car there and take their personal vehicle the rest of the way home.MORE NEWS: Shortage In COVID Testing Kits Driving Up Lab-Based Demand
In a response, Ford wrote that the department plans to more closely review how take-home vehicles are distributed.