Fairplay Volunteer Fire Company Files Appeal

- WHAG NEWS - The Fairplay Volunteer Fire Company filed an appeal last week with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, asking that it overturn the Washington County Circuit Court's ruling in its ongoing battle with the county. 

"I just feel it's a disgrace for the families that built this to let it go like it's going," said Tim Warrenfeltz, former fire chief at Fairplay Volunteer Fire Company.

For former Fairplay Fire Chief, Tim Warrenfeltz, the court battle between the fire company and the Washington County Board of County Commissioners is a tough one to watch.

"It's sad. That it's setting here not being utilized, it should be utilized," said Warrenfeltz. "There's people in this community to make this place a great organization that it used to be."

In April, a circuit court judge upheld the Washington County Board of Commissioners vote to shutdown the Fairplay Volunteer Fire Department completely. 

Court documents say the fire company claims the board abused its discretionary powers, and didn't identify any statutory provision requiring or allowing for the company's review at the January 2013 vote. 

The shutdown came after Washington County Commissioners said Fairplay failed to respond to calls in a timely manner. When commissioners were made aware of the departments poor performance in the summer of 2012, they suspended the fire company. Commissioners then put together a Task Force to research what the best solution would be.

Since the decision to shut Fairplay down, four fire companies from Williamsport, Sharpsburg, Frunkstown and Boonsboro have been taking their calls. 

And many residents say they want and need a new fire company but they want it to come with new leadership.

"So let's open this thing back up, let's do what needs to be done for the community and what should be done and lets do the right thing. Let's put service before self. And the leadership of fairplay hasn't demonstrated that to this point," said Tim Almany, President of Citizens Restoring Fire & EMS for District 12. 

WHAG has reached out to the fire company's attorney, Matthew Kaiser, as well as the assistant county attorney and neither have returned our calls. But WHAG did talk with County Commissioner Jeff Cline who said, "I am disappointed in the decision to appeal...it is time to return the Fairplay Fire Company back to the community." 

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