What's Wrong With This Picture? - Nov. 5

November 04, 2012
  • Firetrucks are parked at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown. Doug DeHaven, Hagerstown's acting fire chief, said the city's professional firefighters usually go to the park for about 60 to 90 minutes a day for physical training.
Submitted photo

The question: A reader contacted The Herald-Mail wondering why firetrucks and firefighters were gathered at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown on Oct. 22 for what appeared to be an athletic game.

The reader wrote that firetrucks are at the park often and also have been seen in nonemergency situations at other places around the community, such as a grocery store.

The response: Doug DeHaven, Hagerstown’s acting fire chief, said the city’s professional firefighters usually go to Fairgrounds Park for about 60 to 90 minutes a day for physical training. He said they use the Hagerstown Area Police Athletic League’s weight equipment and do group physical activities, which might include the game the reader saw.

“We want the guys to be fit,” DeHaven said.

It won’t necessarily be the same firefighters at the park each day. A firefighter’s schedule might call for 24 hours on, 48 hours off, then 24 hours on, DeHaven said.

As for other nonemergency trips using fire apparatus, DeHaven said firefighters are allowed, by contract, to go once a day to pick up food for their shift or their station.

They might go to a store for supplies, he said. Other times, they might visit stores as part of fire-prevention programs.

The shift commander must approve the trips.

“We are seen in the community quite a bit,” DeHaven said.

Hagerstown firefighters stay with their apparatus while they’re out in the community. That way, if there is a call, they can go right to the scene, DeHaven said.

— Compiled by Andrew Schotz

If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:

What’s Wrong With This Picture
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Hagerstown MD 21740

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Editor’s note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation. We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes, or consumer problems.

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