Salisbury Files Lawsuit Against Volunteer Firefighters

The city of Salisbury has filed a lawsuit seeking the return of property and money from a group of volunteer firefighters who broke away. The dispute between the city and the firefighters cropped up in February when the volunteer firefighters at Salisbury’s Station 1 announced they would separate from the Salisbury Fire Department after the city refused to participate in formal mediation to settle disputes over station staffing.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports:

The case filed in Wicomico County Circuit Court names Company 1 and 11 of its officers individually. It is the latest challenge in the firefighters’ efforts to start a new fire station and gain their own territory since they separated from the city in February.

The city is asking the court to grant a temporary restraining order to prohibit Company 1 from spending any public funds distributed by Wicomico County.

It also asks that Company 1 be compelled to produce an accounting of how it has spent any funds from public or charitable sources, and that an independent auditor be appointed to review records.

In March, the breakaway firefighters announced they were in the process of finding a new building with plans to take over a part of the county served by the city’s Station 1.

But a new fire service agreement between the city and county signed in April kept the boundaries of the Salisbury Fire Department’s coverage area intact.

All of Maryland’s twenty-four jurisdictions depend on some level of volunteers for the delivery of fire and rescue service. The evolution of volunteer fire companies presents both challenges and opportunities for county governments. At this year’s annual MACo Winter Conference, learn how Maryland counties are collaborating with volunteer fire companies to protect lives, property, and the environment.

Title: Together We Respond: A Collaborative Approach to Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services

Description: All of Maryland’s twenty-four jurisdictions depend on some level of volunteers for the delivery of fire and rescue service. As volunteer fire companies continue to evolve, it is critical for local governments to strengthen their relationships with local volunteer firefighters. This session will provide an overview of the challenges and best practices related to the volunteer fire service in Maryland. Speakers will discuss challenges in oversight and authority, recruiting and retaining volunteers, and funding for both volunteer companies and county governments.


  • Richard Devore, Director of Emergency Services, Allegany County
  • Tom Owens, EFO, Director/Chief, Division of Frederick County Fire & Rescue Services
  • Michael Faust, Second Vice President, Maryland State Fireman’s Association
  • Clarence “Chip” Jewell, Director/Deputy Chief, Frederick County Division of Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services

Moderator: The Honorable Johnny Mautz, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, December 7, 2017; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference: