Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Spotsy responds to yesterday’s fire

Spotsylvania County officials have spent most of today working on a plan to enhance fire and rescue coverage after a Fawn Lake home caught fire yesterday. There were no firefighters at the closest firehouse–the Wilderness station. Otherwise known as Company 7, Chancellor Volunteer Fire and Rescue has struggled to fill that station on nights and weekends. On August 9, county supervisors voted to put career firefighters and medics in eight stations, including Wilderness’ fire crew.

Before that vote, career firefighters staffed stations Monday through Friday, until 6 p.m. Other stations were staffed as three volunteer agencies could fill in. Some Spotsylvania stations were staffed round-the-clock. But many were not.

So the county fire and rescue department initiated the enhanced staffing program. Today, the department enhanced that program by adding weekend coverage to four stations: Brokenburg, Partlow, Wilderness and Belmont. It looks like there will be a three-person crew in each station over the weekend. Because the county can’t hire firefighters and have them start tomorrow, the program will begin by recruiting current career firefighters to work overtime.

“It’s right at the holidays and in tough economic times, so I think there will be interest,” said Deputy Chief Monty Willaford.

In August, when the county first added evening career staffing, more career firefighters offered to work nights than the county needed.