Volunteer firefighter Richard Coiner has been with the Preston L. Yancey Fire Company for the past year. He says he joined at a time of transition.
Two years ago, the station received the lowest ISO rating possible, mainly due to a lack of volunteers.
"There's been some tough times in this agency but we've come a long way," said Coiner. "I think with the volunteers that we still have here, it definitely shows strength and pride. We look to expand that long term."
Movement on that expansion has already started. As of the first of the month, all assets of Preston Yancey have been transferred over to Augusta County Fire and Rescue. With that change, comes a brand new executive committee that will handle all of it's affairs.
"They've got enough to say grace over in terms of keeping their training up and keeping the equipment up and answering the calls," said president of the committee, and former Augusta County Supervisor Wendell Coleman.
The committee's main goal is to recruit new volunteers. There are ten currently at the station, two of which are in place due to the FEMA Safer Grant.
"Our challenge has been and will continue to be our ability to try to to attract people to this kind of business because it's a major commitment," said Coleman.
Another useful change meant to boost Preston Yancey back up, the station will now run it's own EMT services. Staunton squads had been based out of the station and are no longer necessary. An arrangement with Waynesboro is expected to stop at the end of the month.
"Preston Yancey will be running all the fire and all the rescue calls," Coleman said. "Their first due they call it. Of course, our friends in Waynesboro and Staunton, as appropriate, will be running second due."
The new committee will also be in charge of the station's monetary needs. Staff we talked to say this is good because any fundraising they do will stay right in the station.
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