Trouble at Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department in Montgomery County

In a move that some firefighters said is long overdue, Montgomery County took over operations at the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department in Montgomery County last week.

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What’s allegedly taken place over the last year prompted this drastic step: Public urination, fornication, destruction of property and delays in responding to calls, according to the Montgomery County Fire Department spokesman Scott Graham.

Some firefighters at Station 15 said the situation has become so bad that no one wants to work at the station anymore.

The head of the Montgomery County Career Firefighters’ Association put it this way: “It’s a zoo and the animals have been running the zoo.”

In a memo chief Richard Bowers sent out Thursday, anyone now entering the station must report to an on-duty career officer. They must also follow any orders that officers issues.

While leadership there has been put on notice, the volunteers can still carry out their duties. The department spokesman said citizens are still safe.

The man who leads the county’s volunteer fire fighters said this is retaliation for the volunteers’ activities working to oppose the county’s failed ambulance fee proposal.

Eric Bernard, of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, admits there was a volunteer who brought a guest who urinated in a bunk bed. But he said that was dealt with in 2009.

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