Baltimore FD Withholds Data on Staffing, Response Times

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City lawyers are refusing to release information about the Baltimore Fire Department’s response times, dispatch errors and paramedic staffing rates, reports the Baltimore Sun. Benjamin A. Bor, a special assistant solicitor in the city’s Law Department, says he denied two Public Information Act requests from the newspaper on grounds that the agency did not have the documents to provide. Councilman Brandon M. Scott, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, is convening a hearing Tuesday to seek similar data from Fire Department officials.

Damon Effingham, legal and policy director for Common Cause Maryland, said he was surprised city lawyers said the Fire Department did not have some of the records requested. “It is unfortunate if they’re not keeping it, and if they are, the point of the Public Information Act is for the public and legislators to review data and fine-tune polices and solutions,” Effingham said. “There are very few places where that is more important than emergency services. This data has to be somewhere.”

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