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Firefighters Could Be Banned From Street Fundraisers Under MoCo Bill

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Firefighters in Montgomery County take to the streets every year to raise money for muscular dystrophy.
Elliott Francis
Firefighters in Montgomery County take to the streets every year to raise money for muscular dystrophy.

Each year, county firefighters hold their "Fill the Boot" campaign to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in Maryland. They hit the streets on medians and in major intersections with firefighters' boots asking for donations.

They typically raise about $200,000 dollars. But Bill 12-11, which was introduced Tuesday by several Montgomery County Council members, could change that. It prohibits county employees from soliciting on roadways or median dividers.

The bill’s author, councilman Phil Andrews, says it’s all about safety.

"In other states, firefighters have been hit filling the boot, and we don’t want to see it happen here," Andrews says.

Jerry Pasternak is with the Maryland chapter of MDA. He argues that firefighters are trained to work on busy streets and aren’t able to raise enough money elsewhere.

"The impact will be devastating on an organization that derives 20 percent of their annual budget from this campaign in Montgomery County," he says.

A public hearing on the measure is scheduled for May 3.


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