MARYLAND (DC News Now) — On Tuesday, the Maryland State Firemen’s Association’s voted to keep the same name instead of making it gender-inclusive.
Firefighters from around Maryland were gathered in Ocean City for their annual conference & convention, and one item on the agenda was voting to rename the association. Despite 44 other state associations changing their names from “firemen” to “firefighter,” Maryland’s Association voted to keep the same name.
“Three of Maryland’s largest counties have fire chiefs who are women,” said Senator Cheryl C. Kagan (D-17) Rockville & Gaithersburg. “So not only is it sexist, but it’s inaccurate.”
DC News Now contacted the association’s President Joel C. McCrea, who said, “I believe all members considered all sides, and there was a consensus that it is time to think about a name that accurately reflects who we are.” He went on to say that the name change did not pass because members felt resentment due to interference in their process and outside pressure.
Senator Kagan has been named legislator of the year by the association the past two years and, following the vote, said “sexism prevailed.”
“There are people who call themselves traditionalists, which is a nice way of saying good old boys who don’t want to change from Maryland State Firemen’s Association,” said Sen. Kagan. “These are some of the same people that didn’t think that firefighters of color should be able to join a fire station.”
McCrea’s term ends Tuesday and he said it would be up to the next administration on whether another vote takes place.