Cathy Dyson writes about King George County.
Sullivan listed as author of questionnaire sent to fire and rescue members
Pete Sullivan is listed as the author of the electronic questionnaire being circulated among former fire and rescue volunteers in King George County.
Sullivan served 46 years as a volunteer until October 2008 when he was dismissed by Fire and Rescue Chief David Moody. The chief said Moody had stolen a drill and improperly loaned equipment to a resident.
Sullivan, his family members and friends maintain that the fallout from that dismissal resulted in at least 23 volunteers leaving the system.
Meanwhile, Board of Supervisors member John LoBuglio—who came up with the idea to survey volunteers about why they left and what changes might bring them back—insists that Sullivan wasn’t part of the questionnaire effort.
Instead, he said a committee member used a Microsoft Word document that Sullivan created to get information about a county code. The committee member then built the entire questionnaire on the same document, LoBuglio said.
The committee also got a number of address from Sullivan because he had the most complete list, LoBuglio said.
“But Pete was not on the committee,” LoBuglio stressed Thursday.
Sullivan could not be reached for comment. When asked earlier this week about the questionnaire, Sullivan said he preferred to comment after the data from volunteers had been collected and presented to the King George Board of Supervisors.
The questionnaire was sent by letter and email to about 35 former volunteers. As part of a story in Wednesday’s Free Lance–Star, the questionnaire was posted online, on the King George County blog of fredericksburg.com.
On Wednesday, Steve Wolfe, who served on the King George Board of Supervisors for eight years, called to suggest looking at the details of the document. Users can hover the mouse over the document, click on the right button and go under “Properties” to “Details” to see Sullivan’s name as the author.
LoBuglio said he didn’t know Sullivan’s name was on the document until Phyllis Cook, a reporter for The King George Journal, asked him about it.
Wolfe is married to Jessica Herrink, whose family publishes the Journal.
LoBuglio said the connection to Sullivan doesn’t affect the credibility of the questionnaire “in any way whatsoever.”
“I don’t see that there’s anything to it, except for the people who want to point fingers at Pete Sullivan to say he had a connection to this,” LoBuglio said.
The issue of fire and rescue personnel in King George County continues to be a hot topic. A state report released in December said the county’s lack of career people and volunteers has created a “dangerous and dysfunctional” atmosphere.
King George fire and rescue department recently released its strategic plan to discuss those shortcomings, and the Board of Supervisors may discuss that plan as soon as June.
Also, the county is due to have its 10-year evaluation this summer by Insurance Services Office, Inc. of Marlton, N.J.
Companies use the ISO rating to determine the cost of homeowner policies, based on how far houses are from hydrants and fire stations, and how local fire departments are staffed.
Classifications run from one to 10, with one being exemplary and 10 indicating the program does not meet minimum criteria. Here’s a link to the complete report: ISO report
In the ISO’s last report of King George, issued in August 2002, the county got a split classification of 6/9. Its coverage ranged from slightly below average to being one class away from not meeting minimum criteria.
Because the manpower situation has worsened, LoBuglio said he wanted to see if former volunteers might be willing to return to the county, if changes were made.
“I’d hate to see anyone severely injured or hurt from not receiving fire or EMS in time because we’re short of personnel,” LoBuglio said.
He added that any former volunteers who didn’t receive a questionnaire can contact him at 540/644-9999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.