Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Independent reviews of Feb. 5 fatal fire taskforce report will be released today

County Administrator Doug Barnes confirmed that the independent reviews of the Feb. 5 fatal fire will be discussed tonight at the Board of Supervisors. The board meeting and likely this discussion will take place at the same time the Fire and Rescue Commission is meeting to review and potentially adopt new standard operating procedures.

Obviously, I cannot be at two places during the same time. We will have another reporter covering the BOS meeting while I am at the commission meeting. I will be working late tonight to report all I can on both matters on this blog, so stay tuned.

At this moment, I do not have any reports in my hands and lately Mr. Barnes has released the information to supervisors and then posts the reports online. I am not sure if that will be how it happens tonight.

At 6:45 I will head over to the Marshall Center for the commission meeting and then returning here if the BOS meeting is still taking place.

For any of you who may be watching the BOS on the television, feel free to use this blog post to discuss what supervisors et al say tonight while I am gone.


  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    It’s up on the website as of about 9:00 pm.
    I’d be interested in hearing opinions from those who read it including some volunteers and Steve Thomas.

    It appears to be pretty damming to me.. but perhaps I’m not understanding it fully … so I ask for other opinions.


    Yes, the report was damming as it should be. Both reports basically have stated the same thing (the services provided were anything but what a taxpayer expects and deserves). Supervisors Pitts and Connors were somewhat critical of the services provided and the system in general. The other Supervisors acted like they were living in another world (we have a great system). If the system is so great why isn’t it working??? The two reports have clearly shown that the system isn’t working.

  • SteveThomas

    The system is working and does work. Can it get better? Yes, and it will. I thought both reports were frank but productive and full of positive, future-leaning recommendations.

    But one bad incident in one really difficult situation (out of thousands and thousands) does not a trend make.

    OK, off the soapbox, not beating this dead horse anymore. On to more forward-looking things.

  • bhaas

    Well Steve, I will give you this. You have maintained a consistent “through the rose colored glasses” view in spite of overwhelming evidence in three reports that “all is not well” in wonderland.

  • Sam


    You simply dismiss it as one incident?. You have no Fire experience or knowledge to judge this. And Thank God you’re not incharge of anything. I think a life lost is far too valuable to dismiss as just one bad “out of thousands and thousands”.

    Tell me Steve why did Spotsylvania dare ask outside independant sources their professional (which you aren’t) opinion??

  • JJH

    We are all human, all humans make mistakes. Everyone wants to focus on voluteers. Why isn’t there some time spent on the mistakes made on the Career side of the fire/rescue service? Trust me, there are some. Volunteers have full time jobs and receive training and provide this service when not working. They leave their family, friends and other committments to help the citizens of Spotsylvania Co. Yes, changes need to be make, this happens in everyday America. Changes are made and we move on… Let’s try and focus on the good that Volunteers do, which far outweighs all this negative publicity.

  • Martin (Marty) Work

    Once again, GIVEMEABREAK2M offers a negative in return for one small step forward.

    Just got off another blog site where he was asking me to leave town for want of some positive feedback; questions not allowed.

    Maybe it’s time for him to come out in the open and stop hiding behind his ambush tactics and anonymous moniker.
    Otherwise, how genuine could his foaming at the mouth really be?

    JJH: we may be human and make lots of mistakes, doesn’t mean we get to make the same mistake, move on, make the same mistake again and expect a different result. We don’t need to make excuses for our species. Focus on the problem and you will get better results. But just moving on usually leaves you standing in the same place you started from, scrthching your head over how you managed to do the same thing and leaving you no farther ahead than you were the last time you MOVED ON. Gotta look back some time just to get your bearings.

    I’m still in wonder that life continues to be one giant mystery, with more than one answer.

  • Sam


    Lemme put into perspective what I hear (see) you saying,
    By asking you a question.

    Would you go or trust your children to go into the Intensive Care Unit for surgery and choose the Doctor that ‘does it on the side’…away from his regular gig servicing …oh lets say Air Conditioners or as a high pressure Car Salesman???

    Do you want to hear hear any excuses as to keeping up his certifications (cause it’s a pain in the butt finding the time)

    But the great news is he can save you some money if you agree to his services. But don’t look at the fact that under his care and ineptness people have perished.

    And yes, you’re right it should be noted that the Career service is not without flaw. But the public has access and a mechanism to change that and at the very least the public will find out about it and hold the Fire Chief accountable.

  • Martin (Marty) Work

    Why should’nt we hold Spotsylvania County and elected officials just as accountable? Simply said, a Fire Chief or any other County official can never do any better than what he/she is allowed to accomplish, whether they know how to get the job done or not? Human nature. Watch out for where or who you’re pointing your finger at.