Funnies from the Caroline County Emergency Services Commission

Well, it would be funny if it wasn’t so damn serious.

I’ve tried to edit these minutes for brevity (brevity being the soul of wit and all) and I divided the comments into different categories. Still, it’s still pretty long. I’ve also included links to all the minutes that have been published at the end of the post.

County-wide:

Grants:

November 09, 2005 minutes:

We applied or a SAFER grant, but we were not successful in getting the grant. The county has enrolled in eCivis, a web based grant alerting company. County will hire a part-time grants writer/manager.

And who would that be?

May 10, 2006:

GRANTS ARE AVAILABLE AND NOT BEING TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF.

September 06, 2007:

Bill Wick: People at the meeting (CCEUO) said that when applying for grants, Caroline had too much money and were being turned down for the grants.

Chris Corbin: in my position with the state I sit as an observer on the REMS grants review board. The last grant cycle there were several grants submitted from Caroline. A member of the REMS council Grant committee, who is also the Caroline volunteer representative on the REMS Board, mentioned that the items were 100% funded in the CIP. The County tells agencies they must put in for grants to be considered in the CIP. Grants committee did not view that favorably. Other jurisdictions demonstrated more of a need. Grants were turned down. That is the agreement between the county and the agencies that they have to apply for a grant.

On cross-training dispatchers:

December 14, 2005:

MIKE BROWN: WOULD URGE EVERYONE TO UNDERSTAND THAT IN ORDER TO AVOID THE COMPENSATION FUND LOSES, YOU HAVE TO PUT A LOT OF MONEY UP FRONT FOR CROSS TRAINING. THE COUNTY HAS TO STOP BEING SO CHEAP. ASKING PEOPLE TO TRAIN AT TWO DIFFERENT LEVELS NOW, WE HAVE OPENINGS BECAUSE PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO DO THE JOB FOR THE LOW PAY.

On staffing and volunteerism:

December 07, 2005:

Volunteers only get a $25 county sticker and it costs nearly $4,000 to go from EMT-Basic to ALS provider.

[…]

David [Storke, Chairman]: How does King George feel about coming into Caroline?

Steve [Lynd, Captain, Ladysmith Rescue Squad]: I am only a front line Firefighter/Paramedic and I can not answer for the bosses, they may not like it.

David: How does King George send in mutual aid?

Steve: We have 2 24 hour trucks plus the volunteers staff trucks. If we have a one truck available, then we will run mutual aid calls. Other counties have put restrictions on running mutual aid in Caroline County.

David: Does King George charge?

Steve: No, Spotsylvania and Hanover do, Orange will January 1, 2006.

[…]

Port Royal VFD: Frankie Dietrich, Fire Chief: We need recruitment and retention, we have volunteers that live in King George county and get no benefit from the Caroline County sticker.

Company 6/Rescue 6: Upper Caroline VFD: Steve Parrish, Fire Chief:
Volunteers must participate in 240-250 hours of training to work on an ambulance, people do not have the time to spend it on training, but they need it to serve the citizens. Intermediate is over another 600 hours and Paramedic another additional 600 hours and they all have to do continuing education hours. Some classes are free, but most of the cost money, some of the stations pay for training, some do not.

January 11, 2006:

COMMISSIOINER MIKE BROWN STATED HIS NEIGHBOR WAITED FOR 1 ½ HOURS FOR AN AMBULANCE ON SUPERBOWL SUNDAY LAST YEAR WHILE HAVING A HEART ATTACK.

April 11, 2007:

6300 EMS calls last year, 269 volunteers 24% decrease from 2005.

On the Board of Supervisors:

April 12, 2006:

MR. BROWN: THE BOS IS POLITICAL AND DOES NOT WANT TO MAKE A DECISION. IF THE AGENCIES LIKE THE [station replacement] POLICY THEY NEED TO TALK TO BOS.

May 10, 2006:

THE BOARD IS ALREADY FUNDING TRUCKS 100% BUT WE WILL HAVE TO PARK THEM OUTSIDE. THEY HAVE BEEN DRAGGING THEIR FEET. THE PRICE GOES UP EVERYTIME THEY DRAG THEIR FEET.

[…]

DENNIS WHITTAKER, MY TERM ENDS AT THE END OF JUNE AND I DID NOT LOOK TO BE REAPPOINTED, WANT TO THANK EVERYONE, I AM FRUSTRATED AS WELL.

June 14, 2006:

FRANKIE CHAPMAN ASKED WHY THE COUNTY COULD FIND MONEY FOR OTHER THINGS, BUT NOT WHAT IS NEEDED. MIKE BROWN COMMENTED WHEN HE CAME ON HE WAS SOLD ON THE ESC MAKING THINGS UNIFORM AND PREDICTIBLE FOR THE BOS, WHICH IS NOT HAPPENING. EACH VOLUNTEER NEEDS TO CALL THEIR BOS MEMBER. THE ESC WAS PUT IN AS A BUFFER BETWEEN THE VOLUNTEERS AND THE BOS, BUT THE ESC IS NOT BEING ALLOWED TO DO WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO.

July 17, 2006:

ART SINGER: THE LONGER THE BOS TAKES TO GET STARTED THE MORE EXPENSIVE IT WILL BE AND MORE STATIONS WILL NEED TO BE REPLACED AT ONCE TIME.

December 13, 2006:

ROBERT MITCHELL: SECOND ISSUE. I WORK AS YOU KNOW FOR HANOVER COUNTY. I HAVE BEEN APPROACHED BY MEMBERS OF OUR SUPPORTING STATIONS IN HANOVER COUNTY WANTING TO KNOW WHY THE EMS SIDE OF THE ADMINISTRATION IN CAROLINE, HOW THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND THE COUNTY ADMINSTRATOR COULD ALLOW WHAT IS GOING ON AND NOT MAKE SOME TYPE OF RECOMMENDATION TO FIX IT. THEY ARE LIABLE TO PROVIDE THE SERVICE. IF WE ARE LACKING IN VOLUNTEER STAFF I AM NOT GOING TO KNOCK IT A BIT, WE CAN’T BEAT 24/7 BECAUSE WE ARE ALL VOLUNTEER. THE PROBLEM IS IT TAKES TIME FOR OUR ADMINISTRATION AS FAR AS THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR TO REALIZE IN ORDER TO DO THAT THEY NEED TO BEGIN GIVING INCENTIVES OR COME UP WITH A WHOLE LOT OF MONEY FOR A PAID STAFF. THAT IS COMING FROM OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTY, WHICH I HEAR THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE FROM EVERYWHERE ELSE: HOW CAN THE ADMINISTRATION AS FAR AS THE SUPERVISORS AND THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR LET THIS HAPPEN.

How can they indeed.

June 21, 2007:

Glen Wood: How big is the problem?

Mike Brown: The # of volunteers is not dropping off, the # of calls is increasing and the # of volunteers to handle the calls is not increasing.

Robert Mitchell: Everybody has the problem. We strive to come up with ideas for better service, but no one looks at if we do the new service, what it will cost. Public Education is a must. Our public is coming from areas where they have services around the corner; no one informs them they are moving into a volunteer system. The county has low paying jobs, so people have to work outside of the county. Also people inside the county can not leave their jobs anymore to run calls.

Mike Brown: The BOS won’t want to tell the public this now. Wait until mid November.

Politics over public safety, ain’t it great? Continued:

[…]

Frankie Dietrich: […] Ed’s office does not have the people to do these jobs. BOS needs to support positions – the volunteers are stressed out already.

July 11, 2007:

STEVE LYND FOR LADYSMITH RESCUE: WE HAVE SOME MEMBERS THAT ARE UPSET THAT THE MONEY FOR THE COMPUTERS FOR REVENUE RECOVERY WAS CUT OUT. WE NEED THE TOOLS TO DO THE RECOVERY.

ED FUZY COMMENTED: THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR CUT THEM OUT, I ASKED THAT THEY BE ADDED BACK IN, BUT IT WAS JUST ME ASKING, THE VOLUNTEERS DID NOT ASK FOR THEM SO THE BOARD DID NOT GIVE THEM BACK. IT WOULD HELP IF THE VOLUNTEERS HAD SPOKEN TO THEIR BOARD MEMBER BEFORE HAND. DISCUSSION FOLLOWED ABOUT STEPS TO TAKEN: VOLUNTEERS GO TO ED, ED GOES TO THE ESC, AND ESC GOES TO THE BOS. ED AND THE ESC ARE STUMBLING BLOCKS BETWEEN THE VOLUNTEERS AND THE BOS.

On vehicle replacement:

July 17, 2006:

JACK MARMADUKE: BOWLING GREEN FIRE WILL TAKE DELIVERY OF A NEW TRUCK THAT WILL COST AND ADDITIONAL $60,000 TO GET IT INTO SHAPE TO RUN IT. THERE ARE NO RESERVE TRUCKS IN THE COUNTY; RIGHT NOW THE VOLUNTEERS WILL GO OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO FIX A TRUCK.

IF THE COUNTY OWNS THEM 100% THEN THE VEHICLE WILL BE PUT OUT OF SERVICE UNTIL THE COUNTY “CAREER” CAN GET IT FIXED.

BILL WICK: WHAT ARE THE BOS CONCERNS?

ED FUZY: THEY NEED 100% OF TITLE TO BORROW MONEY FOR VEHICLE PURCHASES.

EARL SHARP: IF IT IS A COLLATERAL ISSUE FOR BUYING FIRE TRUCKS AND AMBULANCES THEN THERE IS A PROBLEM. THE COUNTY IS IN WORSE SHAPE THAN WE THOUGHT.

On the County Administrator:

December 13, 2006:

STEVE PARRISH: WANTED TO BRING YOU UP TO DATE ON A SITUATION THAT I’VE BEEN FACED WITH. ON LAST MONDAY THERE WAS A CONSTIUENT MEETING AT MY FIRE STATION. IN ATTENDENCE WAS MR. TAYLOR, MR. ASHCRAFT AND ANOTHER PERSON FROM HIS STAFF. A PERSON FROM THE AUDIENCE ASKED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THERE WAS GOING TO BE ANY INCENTIVES FOR THE VOLUNTEERS IN THE COUNTY? BECAUSE IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THE VOLUNTEERS ARE DROPPING OFF AND THERE WAS’NT REALLY ANYTHING THERE FOR AS AN INCENTIVE FOR PEOPLE TO JOIN US. A COMMENT WAS MADE BY MR. ASHCRAFT THAT THERE WOULD BE NONE. THAT THE VOLUNTEERS WERE NOT DOING THEIR JOB AND UNTIL THEY DID HE WOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER IT AND I’LL DROP IT AT THAT. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW. (DUE TO MICROPHONE ISSUES, STEVE PARRISH WAS ASKED TO REPEAT THE COMMENT, WHICH CAUSED FURTHER DISCUSSION TO OCCUR) STEVE PARRISH WENT ON TO EXPLAIN: THEY WERE IN MY BUILDING, USING MY MEETING ROOM; WE WERE ALSO HAVING A MEETING IN THE BAY AREA. WHEN WORD WAS BROUGHT TO US WHAT HAD TRANSPIRED, I ALSO HAD A MUTINY ON MY HANDS. I DON’T APPRECIATE THAT COMMENT FROM MR. ASHCRAFT AND I HAVE NOT HAD A CHANCE TO GET AHOLD OF HIM YET TO TELL HIM. PAM CHENAULT ASKED IF HE ELABORATED ON WHAT HE MEANT BY THAT. STEVE SAID THAT JUST THE MATTER OF FACT THAT THE VOLUNTEERS WERE NOT DOING THEIR JOBS SO HE WAS NOT EVEN CONSIDERING INCENTIVES. I AM CONCERNED ABOUT AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT BECAUSE VOLUNTEERS ARE VERY IMPORTANT IN THIS COUNTY. THERE IS NO WAY THE COUNTY COULD AFFORD TO REPLACE EVERY VOLUNTEER IN THE COUNTY. WHETHER WE DO A GOOD JOB OR NOT A GOOD JOB OR WHETHER WE FAIL TO ANSWER CALLS FROM TIME TO TIME, YOU CAN NOT GET AWAY WITH NOT HAVING VOLUNTEERS IN THE COUNTY. I HAVE ALL THE FAITH IN THE WORLD IN YOU FOLKS, BUT JUST AM CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT VOLUNTEERS. THESE FOLKS ARE NOT PAID, THEY SPEND LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF TIME TO RUN CALLS AND GIVE A SERVICE TO THE COUNTY AND I WAS DISAPPOINTED TO HEAR A TOP OFFICIAL IN THE COUNTY MAKE A REMARK LIKE THAT. I’LL NOT COMMENT ANY FURTHER.

[…]

STEVE EXPLAINED IT WAS A CONSTIUENT MEETING THAT THE PUBLIC COULD COME TO, IN ORDER TO DISCUSS HAPPENINGS IN THE COUNTY. ONE OF THE FOLKS IN THE AUDIENCE ABOUT INCENTIVES FOR THE VOLUNTEERS AND THAT WAS THE COMMENT HE PASSED ON.

[…]

STEVE SAID EVERYONE IN THE MEETING WAS FLABBERGASTED AT THE COMMENT, WHERE IS HE COMING FROM WITH THIS, THAT WAS THE END OF IT. BILL WICK ASKED IF MR. TAYLOR WAS FLABBERGASTED WITH THE COMMENT STEVE SAID THAT STRANGELY MR. TAYLOR HAD GOTTEN UP AND LEFT THE MEETING WHEN THIS CAME ABOUT.

Apparently he wasn’t flabbergasted enough to say anything to Ashcraft after he insulted every volunteer in the county… Continued:

[…]

ROBERT MITCHELL: THAT IS NEWS THAT I JUST HEARD FROM STEVE, BUT I BACK HIM 100%, THERE IS NO REASON WHY THE ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF SHOULD SPREAD THAT TYPE OF RUMOR. IT DOES KILL MORAL FOR THE VOLUNTEERS. WE HAVE A HARD ENOUGH TIME TRYING TO MAKE CALLS THAT WE DO, WE DON’T NEED ADDED KICKS IN THE SHINS TO BRING US DOWN.

[…]

BRENT MAIN: I AGREE WITH BOTH CHIEF 5 AND CHIEF 6 ON THIS ISSUE AND AGAIN IT GOES TO SHOW, AS THIS COMMISSION IS AWARE, EXACTLY WHAT THE ADMINISTRATOR THINKS ABOUT THE VOLUNTEERS. HE DID IT TO SPARTA, NOW HE HAS GONE AND DONE IT UP AT 6 WITH A COMMENT, THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR ANY OF US.

Lack of a fire marshal:

Preface: 09/14/2005, The Free Lance–Star: Caroline approves Fair plan:

The county will spend about $48,200 for services such as a fire marshal required during the first year of the fair and its two other events, according to Finance Director John Sieg.

The fair is currently slated to open in 2009 but still no fire marshal. Anyway, back to the minutes, March 14, 2007:

ED FUZY EXPLAINED THAT THERE IS A FIRE CODE THAT IS ENFORCED IN CAROLINE COUNTY, BUT WE AS A COUNTY DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO ENFORCE THE CODE, WE RELY ON THE STATE FIRE MARSHALL’S OFFICE. MOST COUNTIES HAVE ADOPTED A CODE.

June 13, 2007:

#8 Adopt a Fire Code: Mike Brown: Is this in progress? Ed: Kind of in progress. Decided not to move it forward to BOS when the County Administrator decided not to fund the Fire Marshall position. Down side: the state fair is coming and whether they plan on funding it before then. Mike Brown: Anyone have an objection to county fire code? We agree with having a Fire Code, but we have to have a Fire Marshall in order to enforce it.

Frog Level Volunteer Fire Department

On their capital improvement project requests:

October 11, 2006:

DELETE MINI PUMPER: DO NOT HAVE THE MANPOWER OR FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE STATE FAIR WITH SPECIAL EQUIPMENT OR STAFFING. WILL PROVIDE COVERAGE AS WE DO NOW FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

Sparta Volunteer Fire Department

Sparta Fire Station:

November 09, 2005 minutes:

Art Singer: background on the [station replacement] policy, the policy was developed with a committee of volunteers and the Director, the volunteers felt they wanted a stake in new facilities and remodeling. The Director came up with a formula based on percentile so that if a volunteer company could meet certain criteria within that percentile, then there could be co-ownership or if the volunteer company was in such financial state that they could not contribute hardly anything at all then the building would be a complete county owned facility. Example: Some stations that need to be replaced have already purchased land in different locations for a new station. Sparta station 4 at the top of the list. Based on the criteria in the program, if it meets that criteria it will be one of the first to be replaced, because of the fact that is sits in a flood plain and has had damage from rising waters, they have outgrown the facility and it is a dated facility. They have purchased property on the top of the hill across from Salem Baptist Church, but they want a stake in the building.

So, why is the county planning on spending $700,000 for land? Continued:

[…]

Art Singer advised that the time frame is critical. The Board did set aside $1 million dollars in the 2006 budget for Sparta’s building, but turned it over to the Commission, we need to act quickly so we do not lose the funds.

Yes, timing is critical, too bad it’s been over two years and ground hasn’t even been broken.

October 11, 2006:

SPARTA FIRE STATION’S $1,000,000 IS STILL IN THE CIP AND THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN PERMISSION TO START THE PROCESS FOR A NEW STATION. INCLUDED AN EXTRA $500,000 DUE TO THE 1 MILLION ESTIMATE BEING SEVERAL YEARS OLD.

Still waiting… Continued:

SPARTA IS OUTSIDE OF THE STATION REPLACEMENT POLICY AND WILL NOT BE HELD UP.

*Snort*

October 23, 2006:

THE 1 MILLION IS ALREADY APPROVED. $500,000 BEING ASKED FOR 2007/2008. DISCUSSION FOLLOWED ABOUT AMOUNT. STAYED WITH $500,000.

March 14, 2007:

Ed Fuzy: the committee researching architects for the Sparta station has chosen DJG as the preferred vendor. They are from Williamsburg; the recommendation went to the BOS last night.

Port Royal Volunteer Fire Department

Fire Engine/Station Replacement:

December 07, 2005:

Commissioner David Storke: If you could write a check to fix the system, what would you write it for?

Frankie: A new building, the duty crews have no were to go on Saturday nights because of Bingo. Bingo is our biggest headache, but we need to do it to make money for a new building.

David: Is it fair that you need to earn money to build your building?

Frankie: We own the majority of our equipment and got the money through BINGO, Turkey shoots and dinners. We take pride in the work done to get the stuff, but it is a drain on the volunteers because they are raising money instead of running calls.

October 16, 2007:

Port Royal Fire: Ed Fuzy: asking for replacement of engine, engine long over due, 1st time it was due was 1998, have been putting it off because their building will not accommodate a newer piece of apparatus. Anticipating $592,000 will have to be custom made to fit into bay. Also looking to replace rescue unit 3. Discussion followed.

Why not build a bigger building? Wait, I remember the title of my blog… Continued:

November 13, 2007:

Port Royal Fire-Rescue: J.P. Wilkerson

  • have been doing Bingo, pay for Fire Department support, no longer have the membership to support it, will probably stop doing it, only 4-5 members living in the first due
  • have been putting money in the bank for building addition, but the land the firehouse sits on belongs to the Town of Port Royal
  • Don’t have the day time support, not opposed to county staffing, but have no facilities: no bunk rooms, kitchen being remodeled
  • New apparatus does not fit in the building

December 6, 2007:

CIP: Move Port Royal’s equipment to another year, can’t get new equipment in current building.

So Port Royal won’t get a replacement for an engine that is “long over due” as the Director of Department of Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Management puts it! I hate this county…

Frog Level Rescue Squad

You tell me please:

November, 13, 2007:

Frog Level Rescue: Ed Fuzy

  • in May the leadership of this agency changed and the county took over the budget for the remainder of the year
  • Went to low on budget last year, lowered due to misappropriation of funds

All the minutes that have been posted:

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