Fire Department considering shift of west-side company to east side

"People care if there's a fire station in their neighborhood that's staffed, and that's not changing," he said.

But change will come for some firefighters. While moving companies won't have an impact on rank or salary or shifts, Clack said, it will affect where firefighters report to work.

"It's moving their lockers," he said.

Firefighters and other members of the department aren't thrilled about that, the union leaders said.

"The community adopts the firehouse, and the firehouse adopts the community," Campbell said.

Clack said his top priority is using resources in a way that best serves Baltimore's residents.

The decision on which company to shift will be made by next month, he said, when the Fire Department will begin discussing its budget request with city officials.

The change will have to be presented to the City Council under a law passed last year that requires the department to brief council members on permanent changes.

There have been eight fire-related deaths in the city this year. In the most recent, a 57-year-old woman died Monday morning in Northwest Baltimore after she accidentally ignited her clothing while smoking, officials said.

There were 12 fire-related deaths in the city last year, a historic low.