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The plot thickens for Botetourt County Volunteer vs. Paid battle …. screw you guys..I'm going home!

Read “Volunteer vs. Paid…Respect my AUTHORITAH” by clicking HERE

Buchanan (Va) Volunteer Fire Chief Billy Joe Carter has reportedly stepped down as chief and left the Department.

On Tuesday, he was quoted as saying that if an emergency services director assumes control of a scene “there are going to be a lot of hurt feelings and busted noses.” Yesterday he said “you can’t fight politics”

Click HERE for the news coverage from last night ….or just watch the video below…

I just hope he doesn’t try to take the other members of the Buchanan VFD with him. Like the video stated, they have a long and rich history which can certainly be built upon.

Change is not always bad, especially when the result is increased public safety. Here is Botetourt’s Mission Statement which ironically was developed, in most part;  by another Volunteer Chief who opposes the new Director of Emergency Services position..

“The combined agencies of Botetourt County Emergency Services will provide prompt and professional services to our community in order to protect citizens, property and the environment.” 

I have obtained an e-mail from Spencer Suter, Assistant Administrator of Botetourt County addressed to all Botetourt County Fire and Rescue Volunteers

 “Recently, there have been some letters to the editor printed in the Fincastle Herald which question both the need for a Director of Emergency Services and the work that BCES administrative staff currently does.  Enclosed is an open letter with accompanying documents, which I sent to Chiefs and Captains last September, during a time when the proposed enabling code was being considered by the Fire and Rescue Steering Team.  The message in the letter remains constant and I want to share it with as many volunteers as possible.  I urge you to read it carefully and understand the reasoning behind the decision to hire a director, as well as the fact that administrative staff does much more in support of overall emergency services than some folks realize.Last year, the budget for volunteer Fire and Rescue exceeded $1,550,000.  This is a far cry from the funding levels only 5 – 10 years ago.  Part of that funding was used to, for the first time, provide a small cash incentive for your hard work and dedication.  I recognize the fact that many of you do not want any monetary “reward” for your service – you simply want to help your community. I understand and truly respect that. However, please understand the spirit in which the process took place – we worked for years to bring this to reality because we appreciate what you do every day.The simple fact of the matter is, our ultimate goal is to provide the best services possible for the residents of Botetourt County, while ensuring responder safety.  Currently, there is no consistent countywide policy with regard to much of anything.  What policy exists has no enforcement mechanism.  There has never been any intent to “take over”.  As long as I am involved with this process, I can assure you that protection of internal operations of volunteer agencies will remain a top priority – and I intend to remain involved.  The only polices which could be enforced are those which will be developed with volunteer input.  This is not a one way street – those same policies can be / should be enforced by volunteer leadership in the same manner.  If a volunteer officer sees anyone, including career staff, breaking a safety policy or otherwise putting themselves or others in danger, it will be their right and duty to immediately correct it and, depending on severity, report it through the chain of command.

We have received a large number of applications for the director of ES position.  It is my full intent to ensure that we hire the person best suited for the job.  We will be looking for a consensus builder, with an ability to work with a wide range of personalities and viewpoints, and strength in leadership.

In closing, please know that I have and will continue to support your efforts, and deeply appreciate your sacrifice and commitment to your communities.  By the same token, I also appreciate the good work that the career staff does every day in support of our combined mission and I can’t stand by and let charges otherwise go unanswered.

I wish each you a safe and happy weekend,”

Spencer
Click Here for Open Letter Document

Click Here for FARST History

Spencer Suter 

It seems to me as if the County is doing the right thing here.
Hell …. they are HIRING when everyone else is loosing positions by attrition, “un-funding” positions, facing station closures, brownouts etc.
I should also note that I received a comment in last night’s post from a volunteer member of Botetourt who stated
… 
“It should be worth noting that at least 75% of all the fire and rescue departments support this new position, but the minority has chosen to bring the media into this to share their view. I’m afraid that this might be just the beginning of public backlash for my county and volunteer brothers and sisters.” 
Stay SAFE and in House!
Captain Wines

Comments - Add Yours

  • SCFFEMT-P

    Sounds like a media hit-piece that has a hidden agenda. I always question organizations that have the word “professional” as part of their emblem. Should that not be a given?

  • DaveH

    It’s interesting that the reason for the resistance seems to be personal.. “I want to be in charge” not “We don’t need the help”. The debate isn’t about the staffing of stations by career or volunteer firefighters, but about a few “chiefs” who can’t handle having someone above them.

    Many areas in MD and VA have shown that a county-wide model can be successful, but even those places have their share of drama up and down the chain of command.

  • Steve

    We used to vote on everything that happens at our department, until we became “paid on call.” The old guys will tell us every now and again, “that was the beginning of the end of the good ole days” when the city insisted on a “monetary reward” it ended we the firefighters say in almost everything. We used to vote our officers into position, also done. Paid = powerless

  • ShebbinLaddar

    This guy is a reckless clown. He needs to go. Sounds like his ego cant accept the change. If hes not in charge then hes going to take his helmet and go home. Time for a new leader!!

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