Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Spotsy volunteer firefighters must complete training by 2014
Volunteer firefighters and EMTs in Spotsylvania County could be stuck behind desks if they don’t complete training requirements.
The county Board of Supervisors today unanimously voted to extend by a year—from Jan. 1, 2013 to Jan. 1, 2014—the deadline for minimum training standards for volunteer first-responders.
Fire Chief Chris Eudailey said those who do not complete the courses—which are offered online and in person—by then would have limited roles. They may serve in an administrative capacity, he said.
Supervisor Benjamin Pitts, who was on the board when it initially approved the training requirements in 2011 following a fatal fire the previous year, said he was concerned the county was pushing back the deadline. “If you kick the can long enough, it winds up in a ditch somewhere,” he said.
Supervisor Paul Trampe said Pitts had a valid point. “I am willing to kick the can down the road this time, but I’m not going to be willing to do that an unlimited number of times,” he said.
Board members also voted to establish a Jan. 1, 2015 deadline for fire and rescue officers to complete training.
The county has struggled to get volunteers to show up to the courses. Eudailey said some have been good about attending, but he thinks others are waiting to see if the county will follow through with the training requirements.
Some volunteers thought the original 2013 deadline was too strict. Others speculated that it was an attempt to get rid of them.
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