VALLEY LEE, Md. – The Second District Volunteer Fire Department has suspended a volunteer that they believe is spreading misinformation on their safety gear. Clayton “Eddie” Cullison, who is an active member of this volunteer fire department, said he believes Second District sometimes leaves them in unsafe situations with outdated gear. But the department says otherwise.
Cullison, who has been a member of this fire department since 1996, had his gear taken away in 2017 because the department saw it was misfiring. He agreed to be an engineer, but he asked to keep the protective pants. But, the department claimed to give him “gear acceptable for his level of participation for him on two different occasions Nov. 11, 2021, and Feb. 15, 2022,” according to the Second District’s public information officer Mike Roberts.
After Cullison’s mother died, he took a 30-day break and worked for 60 days. Then, he noticed he still did not have any gear. He did not get a response from Chief Henderson and the board of directors, so Cullison asked other members about their equipment. He found 10 pieces of gear were expired, which he noted includes:
- (1) Coat 2009; full-set of gear
- (2) Pants 2007; Engineer Coat
- (3) pant 2007; Engineer Coat
- (4) Pants 2007; full-set of gear
- (5) Coat 2010; full-set of gear
- (6) Pants 6/2011; full gear
- (7) 6-2011 coat and pants
- (8) Pants 6-2011; full gear
- (9) Pants 3-2010; full gear
- (10) pants 2007; full gear
He wrote a letter to the commissioner’s board, which he said led to his suspension. When the fire department found out, they told Cullison his actions are detrimental to “the best interest of the department” in a letter. Cullison suspects the money used for safety is going towards the new building.
“I know where the money is going into. It’s going to that new building and how is that new building going to serve the community,” Cullison said. “Someone is going to get hurt or not be able to save someone from a burning building because they don’t have the proper equipment.”
According to the Second District’s public information officer Mike Roberts, all of this information is false. Every member has safe gear to work with.
“We have issued all members of the Second District Volunteer Fire Department safety gear appropriate for their level of participation with the department,” Roberts said. “We have spent over $36,000 on Fire and EMS turnout gear in FY20, FY21, and the first half of FY22, which clearly shows in our budget data.”
Currently, the department has suspended Cullison for another 60 days. Meanwhile, the department believes he is spreading misinformation.
“You have been provided with false information,” Roberts said.
The department suspended Cullison because they wanted to find a solution to the problem amongst themselves, instead of going public with what the department has stated is false information.
Contact our news desk at email@example.com
EDITORS NOTE: The list of names that we were originally provided for this story did not contain any way to identify these (10) individuals who were originally listed. We have been made aware that there was potentially persons under the age of 18 who were listed, and we would like to apologize to anyone who may have not wanted to be identified by their first initial and their last name. We have since updated this story to reflect the listed gear without name identifiers.