FIRE DEPARTMENT: FUNDING MARINE OPERATIONS

9-A
FIRE DEPARTMENT: FUNDING MARINE OPERATIONS

 

Problem Identification:
Marine operations are an expensive burden that should be fully borne by the Port Authority and the State of Maryland.

Recommended Action:
Obtain more State financial support for marine fire suppression units, including not only operating expenses, but also replacement and maintenance costs for the units.

Classification:
Cost Savings, Revenue Enhancement

Functional/Operational Areas:
Marine Unit

Estimated Annual Impact:
$500,000

Estimated Implementation Cost:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
State Budget Official’s reluctance to accept financial burden.

Project Implementation:
FY2002

Next Step:
Mayor’s Office should immediately make a formal request to the Governor’s Office to assume this function and/or to provide full financial support for the City to operate the Marine Unit.

Analysis:
The City marine unit should be viewed much the same as the aircraft crash trucks at BWI. The Baltimore harbor is essential to the statewide economy and since it cannot safely operate without an effective marine unit, this arguably constitutes a state function. Currently, the City receives $1.4 million from the Maryland Port Authority for port fire protection. However, the Department’s annual cost to operate the Marine Unit exceeds $1.9 million.