According to the Baltimore County Professional Firefighters Association a significant staffing shortage along with an overspent annual overtime budget has led the county to expand the practice of shutting down two engine companies during weekday daytime hours to avoid overtime pay. According to the county, it is “re-directing personnel” during weekday hours from their normal positions to help train new firefighter recruits. Historically, the county would pay overtime to replace any personnel detailed to the training academy, however given the current overtime shortfall the county has instead opted to shut down the two engine companies. The department’s overtime budget is projected to be between seven and eight million dollars over budget. According to union officials, Baltimore County Fire Department has around 120 vacancies and is having trouble recruiting new applicants.
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