Volunteer Fire Department Chiefs Discuss Staffing Proposals

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va -- Mike Fisher has been a car salesman in Staunton for 21 years, but he has also been a volunteer firefighter for the past 38 years. He is the chief of the Dooms Volunteer Fire Department.

"We are a volunteer department, and a volunteer may be there an hour or they may be there eight hours. I just don't know," said Fisher.

A proposal looked to take floaters from volunteer stations and use them as needed. At times, this could leave some stations empty.

Augusta County Fire Chief Carson Holloway's changed plan pulls floaters from Augusta County and Preston L. Yancy Fire Departments because they have more career staff and are more centrally located.

"If we did deploy them, we'd be able to get back up help there much quicker than some of the other areas we originally talked about," said Holloway.

Chief Fisher liked that idea much better, but he still has a few concerns.

"It's always good to change the environment a little bit for the career guys. However it makes it hard on some guys because they have to drive so far to get to other stations," said Fisher.

Chief Holloway is more confident in these changes and thinks it should go over well with the board of supervisors.

"It does address all concerns, and it's a part of where we're at. We all have to give a little to get a lot. So, I think it will be a fair compromise," said Holloway.

Chief Fisher is happy too because he likes this proposal much better.

"We just have to get them in there and make sure they're trained for our apparatus and trained for our area."

The Augusta County Board of Supervisors will take up the proposal again Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Augusta Government Center in Verona. Stay tuned to WHSV.com for updates with this story.

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