Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Mandatory minimum training for fire and rescue
On Aug. 28, County Administrator Doug Barnes will lead a meeting with fire and rescue officials about developing mandatory minimum training requirements for the combined fire and rescue system of volunteers and paid personnel.
Fire and Rescue Chief Chris Eudailey has asked the three volunteer agencies to create a spreadsheet of all volunteers and their training certifications—a task some volunteer leaders have said is not an easy one to do.
The county does not have a central location for training records of all people within the combined system.
I requested last month the training levels of all officers in the volunteer agencies and to date only one has returned to me a spreadsheet of the information. Spotsylvania Volunteer Rescue Squad has not responded to the request yet and Chancellor Volunteer Fire and Rescue is still creating the list.
Spotsylvania Volunteer Fire Department President Mark Kuechler and I met this morning and he went over the list with me. He said the list is based on certifications he saw in the files, which means the list may not be 100 percent correct if someone recertified or obtained additional training but did not provide the agency with the certifications.
But the list he provided me this morning shows that at least six officers for that agency do not have the basic fire fighting certifications. Several have expired CPR certifications.
Such lapses in certifications or having officers in charge who do not have fire fighting 1 or fire fighting 2 certifications does not happen for career personnel because Eudailey created minimum standards for career officers. I recently obtained the job descriptions and certifications a person needs to be a career officer and I will post them later.
This apparently is why Mr. Barnes called for the training meeting on Aug. 28 at Germanna Community College.