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Firefighter accused of threatening to shut off water during blaze

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A Maryland firefighter on paid duty status with Prince George’s County is in trouble after threatening to cut off a volunteer fire department’s water supply while speaking over the radio.

In the never-ending battle between paid and volunteer fire departments, the December 29 incident resulted in both the transmitting firefighter and a volunteer being suspended, though the latter has since been allowed to return to duty.

The altercation, which was investigated as a case of “workplace violence,” involved a clamp designed to cut off water through a hose, that was placed on the Kentland volunteer crew’s line by the mostly-paid District Heights department. While the clamp was never activated in brought the ongoing turf battle between paid and unpaid county firefighters to a head.

“I need that water,” the paid firefighter in question could be head saying over the radio. ““I am going to put a hose clamp on your attack line.”

This did not sit well with the Kentland engine, which demanded the clamp be removed.

“Engine 833 to command, have 26’s driver take the hose clamp off our attack line,” a Kentland crewmember demanded.

“It was at this point, seeing an attack line being charged before the supply line being charged, the District Heights pump operator made a radio transmission referencing using a hose clamp,” The District Heights department said of the incident in a statement. “The review determined that while a hose clamp was placed over the Kentland back-up attack line, it was never engaged and never restricted the flow of water in the line.”

According to the Washington Post, the friction between the county’s paid and unpaid departments dates back over half a century.

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