FAIRPLAY, Md. (WDVM)– Between 2012 and 2016, Fairplay’s Community Volunteer Fire Department didn’t answer a single fire or medical service call due to their suspension. However, a new day has dawned for fire service in Fairplay.
“Absolutely amazed at the amount of work and what the community has put into here and the people,” said Fairplay’s Community Volunteer Fire Department President Jeb Eckstine. “This was labor intensive, it wasn’t just a few people, this was a large, large group of people that made this happen.”
Cheers rang out in the Washington County’s Board of Commissioners chambers as they fully reinstated Fairplay’s Community Volunteer Fire Department Tuesday morning. After a 36 month probation, Fairplay can officially function as its own entity once again.
“It’s great that they could make progress, be upbeat with it and everybody working together and everybody being enthusiastic about bringing this company back up to where it needs to be,” said WCVFRAS Vice President Todd Smith.
The department’s suspension came after careful observation by the Emergency Services Advisory Council, which made all financial and administrative decisions. Over three years and three grants, new management has gotten out of a quarter of a million dollars of debt, brought all equipment up to date including a $60,000 repair to the fire station’s roof.
“We did not have enough money to pay the electric bill without people reaching out of their pockets to get through the first month,” said Eckstine.
Most importantly, Fairplay staff said it’s now time to get back to doing what they do best, serving and saving their community members once more.
“Next step, they’re off probation they’re on their own and I can’t thank them enough for the heart they had to endure this terrible three, four years of lawsuits and here they are, still willing to serve their community,” said Board of Commissioners President Jeff Cline.
Fairplay Fire Department wanted to extend its thank you to all of the surrounding fire departments that helped cover its community for several years.