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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Chancellor Volunteers write letter to editor

Kevin Dillard, the administrative chief for Chancellor Volunteer Fire and Rescue, wrote a letter to the editor today in response to critical articles about the Feb. 5 house fire that killed Sandy Hill. Dillard wrote the letter to the editor on behalf of the agency’s approximately 200 volunteers

You can read it here.

Dillard said some “highly critical” stories have been published in The Free Lance-Star because their performance Feb. 5 at the house fire on Spotswood Furnace Road was not up to standards.

He said all of the volunteers are committed to honoring the memory of Sandy Hill by “redoubling our efforts to learn from this painful experience and improving our capabilities to save lives and prevent such tragedies in the future.”

A story will likely be published this weekend about details in a voluminous binder of documents that a task force used to investigate the performance of the volunteers. For the first time since the fire, Assistant Fire Chief Tony Dennis, who was in charge of the operations that morning, answered some questions for the story, which focuses on notes from his interview with the task force.

Dillard served on the task force that internally investigated the fire, along with one other volunteer member and two longtime career firefighters. The task force’s final report was sent to four independent agencies to review and make additional recommendations to the 43 recommendations for improvement that are included in the task force’s report.


  • bhaas

    I have commented on this issue a number of times. My problem is NOT with any individual volunteer or careerist. I do not know them; how the h*** could I attack them personally. What I DO know is that they operate in a “system” that is not functionally correct nor is it transparent. It absolutely must be transparent since they receive tax payer money. That system needs to be changed, but I suspect it will not change unless and until the BOS wakes up and does the job we expect of them.

    Back at post 27 I asked an open question about Mr. Dillard. I was immediately informed that there was NOTHING “we” could do because “we” have no control and the situation was compared to McDonalds.

    Well, I beg to differ with that conclusion. CVFD gets tax payer revenues and they are chartered by the County (i.e. the citizens), unlike McDonalds, and our elected representatives could do something if they so chose.

  • Sam

    I agree with you. But I must admit thats entirely over my head. How the funding manages to get filtered to the volunteer entities and then mixed (my words) with private funding is beyond my education and knowledge. Does it sound to you like an organization that lists 5 million plus 1 million on hand should have substandard ANYTHING?.

    Yeah, I think it should be transparent. But (again my words) look at them as private corporations that provide contract services to the county. You have no recoursive action with it’s employees. No that shouldn’t be a shocker to anyone. But I personally think we (you and I) are owed answers to our queries and questions. Their silence to simple questions with regards to post February 5, are leading me to believe that, I am not so wrong.
    Whats the harm CVFRD?

  • bhaas

    Sam…We certainly are owed answers.

    Your comments about the “private corporation” situation is undeniable, BUT and that is a big BUT, they are dealing with “public safety” here and the County charters them to do so. Otherwise they could not properly perform their jobs.

    As for the funding….the mixing of their donated funds ($ in their private accounts) with public funds probably does not happen. How they decide what is bought or paid from where is not known to me. And I have never heard it explained anywhere either. Perhaps someone will explain?

  • Martin (Marty) Work

    Bill…I’ll wait right here, by your side, until someone provides us with an explanation, not otherwise controlled by FOIA protocols