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Hagerstown Fire Police is seeking new members

April 30, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Not content to put in a 48-hour week working for the U.S. Coast Guard in Washington, D.C., Allan Lynn comes home to Hagerstown and often finds himself directing traffic at fires, accidents and crime scenes.

Lynn said being a member of the Hagerstown Fire Police gives him a chance to perform community service where he lives, something he also did when he was in California and Ohio.

"We do mostly traffic accidents but we also go on almost every fire call in the city," Lynn said.

Fire police are given the responsibility of crowd control and could find themselves blocking roads after bank robberies or other crimes.

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They may have to stand for hours at a scene and deal with motorists who can be disgruntled at the prospect of being detoured.

Fire police direct traffic for special events such as concerts at The Maryland Theatre or the annual Alsatia Mummers' Parade.

"I talk it up with my friends and neighbors in Hagerstown hoping they will want to join too," Lynn said.

Uniforms, training, radio equipment, traffic cones and insurance are covered by the City of Hagerstown, Lynn said.

"The only thing we need to buy are our pagers," he said.

The Hagerstown Fire Police have been under the direction of Hagerstown City Police since 1983.

Hagerstown Police Lt. Gary Spielman, who oversees the fire police, said he is looking for applicants, male and female, who are at least 21 years old and have a valid driver's license. They must also have a good driving record and a clean criminal history, he said.

Jim Stockslager is the current captain of the Hagers-town Fire Police.

There are nine members on the active list of fire police plus two others who work special assignments. The city would like to increase that number to 20 to 30, Spielman said.

Participants complete an initial 16 hours of training and then another eight hours each year to stay current, he said.

The group meets the third Thursday of the month.

Each year, fire police respond to nearly 500 emergency calls and staff several dozen special events.

A 16-year veteran with the U.S. Coast Guard, Lynn, 36, wants to go into law enforcement, possibly enrolling in the Western Maryland Police Academy in three years when he "retires."

He also has some higher education plans.

"I originally joined the Coast Guard to earn money for college," Lynn said. "When I retire, I want to go back to school."

For more information on the Hagerstown Fire Police, call 301-739-8577, ext. 266.

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