More Paid Positions

By: Laura Speakman
By: Laura Speakman

Fighting fires and saving lives but the fires and the lives in Rockingham County keep growing. So do the training requirements of volunteers, making it harder for them to go out on calls.

"Quite frankly a number of them just don't have the time to do that now they all have full time jobs," says Paxton.

Rockingham County's proposed budget wants to add six emergency response positions, an E.M.S. training position, a teacher at the Massanutten Technical Center, and a part-time administrative assistant. It will cost the county $405,000. Officials want to place them where the calls are increasing.

"Some of the areas we are very fortunate in being able to continue running the calls but in other areas we are not," says Paxton.

The calls are putting a strain on the budget. Paxton says this is just one of several reasons taxes are rising. He says more people are coming into the county, and adding to the tax base doesn't cover it.

"It's very rare that residential development will offset the services that are necessary," says Paxton.

He says this will help certain areas of the county but this is not a move towards making the service 24/7 throughout the county.

There will be a public hearing about the entire budget and the increase in taxes next Wednesday evening at seven at Broadway High School.

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