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Callands-Gretna Supervisor Ben Farmer discusses the critical role that our volunteer agencies play in keeping our community safe and why the Board of Supervisors remains committed to investing into these stations.
This Board of Supervisors understands the crucial role that volunteer fire and rescue agencies play in keeping our communities safe, which is why we are committed to increasing our investments in these stations. In the past three years we have increased annual funding by more than 76%, and the proposed FY 2022 budget increases annual funding even more.
Not only are we increasing our fund amount, but our county staff are partnering with these agencies to improve service for our residents and businesses. In just the past few years we have adjusted protocols so that more stations are dispatched to calls, established a fire and rescue commission that works with these stations, county Public Safety staff, and the Board of Supervisors to move fire and rescue forward, and, as a result, have seen many of our volunteer stations improve their response rates.
During the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Board chose to invest a significant portion of our CARES Act funds into our fire and rescue stations. In addition to the desperately needed personal protection equipment and other short-term products, the county was able to contribute towards the purchasing of large capital purchases, including several ambulances, quick response vehicles, defibrators, etc. – that will benefit these volunteer stations for years to come.
The result of our strategic increases in funding and strong partnerships with our volunteer stations is improved service and protection for our communities.