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Firefighters could not access school during weekend alarm

February 12th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Cumberland Fire Department firefighters could not access a local middle school over the weekend after a juvenile intentionally activated a fire alarm during a Tri-State Basketball League game. On Saturday, February 8, 2020, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Cumberland Fire Department was dispatched for an automatic alarm at Braddock Middle School. Upon arrival at the school, firefighters observed multiple vehicles parked on both sides of Franklin Street to the Holland Avenue intersection, subsequently hindering and delaying firefighters making access to the school.  

A joint investigation by the Cumberland Fire Department and Deputy State Fire Marshals determined a a visiting 5th grade Northeast Elementary School student was responsible for activating the fire alarm.  He was charged with False Alarm and released to the custody of his parents pending actions by Allegany County Department of Juvenile Services. No injuries were reported during the incident.

Cumberland Fire Department and the Office of the State Fire Marshal want to remind parents, citizens and the community the risk of parking in designated fire lanes. Parking is prohibited in fire lanes to ensure the access of safety equipment to the building in the event of an emergency as well as provide a clear space for egress from a burning building. 

"Access is imperative. Firefighters can't put out the fire, rescue the patient, or conduct emergency operations unless they can get to the emergency. Code requirements for fire department access are a necessary part of the overall fire protection scheme in any community," stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.

One Response to “Firefighters could not access school during weekend alarm”

  1. February 13, 2020 at 9:30 am, Steve Johnson said:

    It’s been my experience after 3 decades in the fire service that parents will not be hindered in accessing a sporting event involving their child. This is a nationwide occurrence. We found that aggressive enforcement of parking violations, especially in fire lanes, resulted in howls to political leaders for overreaction and at the same time compliance. That which is monitored gets done.


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