Maryland Fire Company Loses Suit For Grant Funds

A Maryland judge has rejected the request of a volunteer fire company to order a charitable trust to award it a share of an annual grant normally made to local fire departments. The suit was filed last November by the Salisbury Independent Volunteer Fire Company Number One Station 13 against the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.

The foundation provides an annual award to three fire departments in the City of Salisbury on behalf of the Lacy Fund. Company Number One Station 13 broke away from the Salisbury Fire Department in 2017, and sued to obtain a share of the grant estimated to be $20,000 annually.

The Foundation argued that the Company Number One Station 13 no longer met the requirements of the grant to be a fire department in Salisbury. The fire company pointed to the fact that the Wicomico County Chiefs Association and other groups had already recognized it as Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company Station 13.

The case was heard last month by Wicomico County Circuit Court Judge W. Newton Jackson, who ruled in favor of the Foundation.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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