Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Moving forward with the fire and rescue system
All investigations of the fatal house fire on Feb. 5 in which Sandy Hill died are over.
As the external review task force noted, now county officials need to move forward and develop procedures and time lines of how they will implement any changes.
The external task force validated everything in the internal investigation of this fire and provided additional information to lead the combined system in a direction of improvement.
This also marked the third time in which fire and rescue matters related to the Feb. 5 fire were discussed at a Board of Supervisors meeting without it being on the agenda.
At the Fire and Rescue Commission, members tediously went through each of the 34 standard operating procedures and approved most of them.
However, the fire and rescue system still is not operating under one set of SOPs, according to several personnel at the meeting. For example, the career personnel are held to a different standard when they make errors, do not follow SOPs or are late to a shift. The commission did not address any SOPs for human resource issues and discipline.
Fire and Rescue Chief Chris Eudailey, who was able to attend the meeting, said that this is a “starting point” to this process. Eudailey, like myself, was unable to be at two places at once, so he was not present at the BOS meeting when the external task force review was handed to supervisors.
The new 10-member commission is expected to be impaneled by the July 14 commission meeting. At least one of those new members, Rev. Bell, was in attendance and stayed for the entire meeting.