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Fire police help during emergencies, Washington County Sheriff says says

November 30, 1999|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN ? When the fire police direct traffic, they free up police officers to answer emergencies, Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said.

Fire police duties include directing traffic in areas of road construction, as well as at fires and accidents, Mullendore said.

In December, members of the fire police turned out to direct traffic around the scene where Smithsburg police Officer Christopher Shane Nicholson was fatally shot.

Each of the 14 fire companies in Washington County is allowed to have four fire police, Mullendore said. Fire companies were limited to three fire police each until last year, when the Maryland General Assembly approved legislation that allowed four per company.

To purchase equipment, the fire police rely on financing from their respective companies along with an $8,000 stipend they share from the county.

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Glenn Fuscsick, the former president of the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, said fire companies have a hard time funding fire police.

"They receive the bare essentials," Fuscsick said. "The money is definitely not there."

People who want to donate to the fire police may send a check to the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association at 1501 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown, MD 21742.

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