BALTIMORE — Two unions representing firefighters in Baltimore City do not support a proposed bill, that members of the City Council believe will keep department members safe when responding to vacant house fires.
Both expressed opposition to the bill known as the Firefighter Safety Act in a May 17 letter to the City Council.
The legislation was introduced following a deadly vacant house fire on South Stricker Street in January that killed firefighters Paul Butrim, Kelsey Sadler and Kenny Lacayo.
This bill would mandate firefighters to only work from the outside when battling flames from vacant building - unless they can confirm that someone is inside trapped or that conditions are safe enough to go in.
It also calls for firefighters to wear thermal imaging cameras while at fire scenes.
The unions claim the bill complicates their existing protocols, and are asking the council to reconsider.
Their full letter can be read below.