Cathy Dyson writes about King George County.
More discussion about fire, rescue positions
The Board of Supervisors got its first look at budget requests for next year, which include 23 new positions across the board.
Twelve of those were from the Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services. Chief David Moody asked for six fire/rescue technicians, four captains and two lieutenants.
Nine of those positions would go to the Fairview Beach Volunteer Fire Department, which has all but closed in recent years because of a lack of volunteers. Moody said that in 2012, the company was dispatched 208 times, but volunteers responded only 46 times. And, even with those calls, there weren’t enough people to staff the equipment, he said.
Supervisor Chairman Dale Sisson Jr. pointed out that those calls did get answered—by other companies in King George or by groups that provide mutual aid.
The supervisors didn’t make any decisions about any new hires, but asked Moody to bring back more information about his manpower needs. Moody’s request totaled $801,000.
“I’m tired of looking at it just from a paid standpoint,” Supervisor Joe Grzeika said. “I cannot accept the easy answer of just go hire everybody. I won’t accept that.”
Moody said that there’d been a “pretty sharp increase” in volunteer participation at Fairview Beach in recent months. Volunteers were pulling duty shifts at the station and running calls, he said.
Board Chairman Dale Sisson Jr. encouraged Moody to give supervisors “an integrated picture” that shows the number of volunteers and staff members across the board, not just at Fairview Beach.
Supervisor Ruby Brabo also asked Moody to indicate how many volunteers are pulling regular duty shifts.
“The ones who pick and choose when they run, they don’t always show up, as I know,” she said.
Brabo, who has a pacemaker because of a heart condition, fainted on a Saturday morning in late December. No volunteers were on hand at the nearby Dahlgren station, so the Navy base sent a basic ambulance. She needed more than the basic unit could provide, so an ambulance was dispatched from Co. 1 headquarters—and arrived at her home 25 minutes after her collapse.