In Augusta County, debate continues about the Churchville VFD’s perceived lack of response to emergencies their response district. Despite not arriving first on only 4.5% of the 1400 calls they’re dispatched to each year, a handful of community members are speaking loudly about the need for 24/7 career staffing at the firehouse.
About 50 people turned out for the public meeting at Churchville Elementary School. Only a handful were actually there to express their concerns, but the small crowd that spoke out still managed to spark quite a debate.The volunteer-based group is under fire after some community members argue the department lacks staff to respond to nearby calls. Supervisors say the county is prepared.
The article continues:
Three destructive fires have sparked in the Churchville area in recent weeks – destroying property, injuring two people, and killing four family members. A petition collected 400 signatures asking for paid staffers 24/7 to help avoid future tragedies. Churchville Fire and Rescue currently has three paid firefighters, who work Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Supervisors note adding paid firefighters will cost tax dollars. “You can’t fully staff a station with less than 12 people,” Pyles said. “We have three now. That costs us $150,000 a year. Twelve people, we’re talking a half million dollars.”
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