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A gamble with tax payer's money? Are BIG chances being taken in Botetourt County's provision of Public Safety? Why let a fox in the hen house?

I want to move on to other subjects / topics but this Botetourt County issue just wont go away!

If you haven’t been following this soap opera, read my previous posts HERE   HERE  and HERE 

I’m still getting phone calls, texts, emails etc warning me that this  Joe-Bob  Billy Joe Carter is hunting me down. The rumor is that he’s looking to “beat me up” and there’s a “Bounty” on my head. Again I’ll state that I just can’t believe that’s true. It has to be 100% RUMOR.

To begin with, I’m not that hard to find….

I even made Statter911.com’s “Quick Takes” today!

I actually kinda stand out in a crowd. My picture is posted all over this and many more web sites so you should have a general idea of what I look like. All my contact information is on the computer as well. I post regularily about my personal / private life so you should all know where I live and what I do on my days off ( I live in Catawba, Va). Everyone but the guy who is supposedly looking for me has called so it must not be too difficult to find my number (597-8068).

Beyond all of that, I just don’t believe that a Fire Chief would act in that manner. None of the Chiefs I know anyway. We are PROFESSIONALS… paid or volunteer .. or at least we’re supposed to be.

There are a lot of things surrounding this story that just don’t “add up” and it’s not just Buchanan… it’s much deeper / wider than that. Apparently, Botetourt’s problems are County wide. I guess I’ll just have to start laying some of  it out on the table in hopes it can / will be resolved and everyone involved can move forward.

Some folks have asked me why I care about what happens in Botetourt County and that answer is simple. I grew up in Botetourt. I went to High School there anyway. I have family and many friends that still live in Botetourt to this day. Rhett and I (as well as our friends and family) often travel through Botetourt County. And, it’s a Fire Service issue… if the rumors are true, then what is being said and allowed to happen in Botetourt effects us all and in a negative way!

In my last post I noted that while trying to find out more information on this Carter character, I found someone with the same name and similar address from back in 2002 who had felony charges against him. Felony assault and alluding police. I didn’t think it could have been the same guy.

After I posted that article, I was contacted by several people stating that I had indeed found the right person and that there are several more felons serving either in the Buchanan VFD or other Departments within Botetourt County. Again, I just can’t believe that’s true.

I’ve searched the Virginia Judicial System’s web site under Botetourt County Circuit Court and found similar names. They don’t include pictures so I can’t be sure. You can do your own searches and see what you find

Search Botetourt County Circuit Court Records by clicking HERE 

I’ve been told that Chief Jim Boy Bob  Billy Joe Carter has either a restricted or suspended driver’s license. Again, that can’t be true. How does he respond to all these incidents? Not in a County vehicle I’m sure. NOT under Botetourt County’s Insurance policy /  umbrella?

Somebody is scheduled to appear in court the 1st week in March to see about getting their license restored so maybe I should just show up to see for myself if it’s the same guy?

I’m also hearing rumors about  members who have possibly been previously convicted of charges such as vehicular man slaughter yet still operating equipment out of the Buchanan VFD. I’m hearing about Felony drug charges and more. AGAIN….. this must be false information.

Whoever is in charge of Botetourt County’s Public Safety would NOT let issues as serious as these  go unnoticed. These people would NOT be allowed to serve as Public Safety providers .

Or maybe they ARE allowed to serve in Botetourt County. Maybe their policy allows for members with criminal records? If so, then why would “Botetourt” not just come out and say it? Why place a “gag order” on the paid members?

 That’s just it…. who IS in charge of Public Safety in Botetourt?

 I can’t find a clear answer to that  (past Assistant County Administrator Spencer Suter ). Maybe it’s Councilman Austin from the Buchanan District? I’m not sure but, either way;  I bet the responsibility will soon fall under the new Emergency Services Coordinator they are trying to hire.

Find Botetourt County’s Board of Supervisors HERE 

Earnest T  Billy Joe Carter said in a recent interview  ” I don’t need anybody down here baby-sitting me” …. maybe he does.

What kind of application process is there to volunteer in Botetourt County? Is there even a process in place? Do they not do have age limits or background checks?

That may be a good question to ask at their next Board of Supervisor’s meeting. They have one scheduled for tomorrow at 2pm. Learn Where, When and see their agenda by clicking HERE .

Their policy should be STRICT  because allowing felons to serve in Public Safety is like putting a fox in the hen house!

These are NOT the types of people I want in my house ( with my wife, children, grandchildren etc) while I’m away. When responding to an emergency incident, the Fire Chief has that authority …. to enter your home (by force if deemed necessary).

What if something comes up missing? What is someone is spoken to or touched in an aggressive or inappropriate manner? Who is liable? Is Botetourt County the responsible party? Is tax dollars covering the insurance?

These are NOT the type people I want responding to my friends /  family’s homes either. You wouldn’t just “let em in” if they knocked on your door from the street would you?

Are Botetourt tax dollars covering the liability of people with these types of criminal records driving emergency vehicles? With 2 counts (charges) of eluding police is it still ok to drive a fire truck? What if it’s not the rig… just a Chief’s buggy?

Imagine the law suit the County would be facing should a member with such a record become involved in an accident.

If they hurt, injured or killed themselves or someone else.

If  “they” ( the County) allowed this person to drive, knowing their record; who is at fault?

Again, I just don’t believe I’m getting accurate information here. There is NO WAY this could be happening in 2012! Not in a County as progressive and fast growing as Botetourt.

Maybe that’s why Joe Ray Billy Joe Carter and a few others are so opposed to the new Emergency Services Coordinator position? Apparently there are NO established, uniform guidelines for  responders in Botetourt County. No Standard Operating Guidelines (S.O.G’s) or Personal Operating Procedures (P.O.P’s). It sounds like all the Departments are doing whatever they want and however they want to do it.

S.O.G’s, P.O.P’s, Policies, Procedures etc…. why do we need those? hummmmm. I’ll go back to the County’s liability and tax payer money.

Lets start basic. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) or “Turnout Gear”. It’s the “suits” firemen and First Responders wear to protect us. They are EXPENSIVE but a necessity. When to wear it shouldn’t have to be spelled out right? WRONG. Spell it out in Policies, procedures, SOG’s POP’s etc so there is no DOUBT.

That’s another comment I keep hearing but just can’t believe. Some folks say that John Boy  Billy Joe Carter doesn’t like to wear his. I’ve actually heard that his uniform of choice on an emergency scene includes Croc shoes and a baseball cap! Again, I don’t believe those allegations. A man wearing Crocs?? On an emergency scene??… NO WAY! This guy is supposed to be a Chief.

I’ve even heard rumors that he was not wearing his PPE on the fire where he was “seriously” injured after coming in contact with a downed power line. Oh you should see THAT interview (click the links for previous posts at the top).

Wait a minute … IF the County bought and issued him PPE (Helmet, coat, pants, gloves, hood and rubber sole boots etc) and   then HE decided NOT to wear it and became injured, who pays the hospital bill? Was this a “special circumstance” or a continued practice?

Where is the tax payers money wasted? On the initial purchase of the gear they wont wear or on the hospital bills from the effects of them not wearing it and becoming injured ?

Again, these rumors must be false. We are not talking about a rookie here … this is the Chief of a Department built on a Century of Tradition!

This guys is setting the example for the members under him …right?

I said it in one of my earlier posts …. change is not always bad. The hiring of an Emergency Services Coordinator, if  nothing else; could bring some unity and structure to the Botetourt County Departments. Everyone working from the same page. A minimum level of qualifications, SOG’s, SOP,s etc.

Safer for the members and  better service for their citizens. A win/win.

If any of the volunteer Chiefs disagree with the hiring or selection process of the County’s new Emergency Services Coordinator then they should speak up. THEY SHOULD voice their concerns / opinion but tactfully.

They have been offered a seat at “the table” yet some have refused. In my opinion, these members / Departments now have NO SAY in the issue.

SIT AT THE TABLE and be a part of the SOLUTION … not the problem.  A Fire and Rescue Steering Team,  was formed in 2003 to foster collaboration among Botetourt’s volunteer fire departments, rescue squads, full-time paid  Fire/EMS  responders, and the County …. every Volunteer Chief should GO TO THESE MEETINGS!

Again I’ll say that I can’t believe that Botetourt County hasn’t gotten out in front of these issues and taken a stance or at least made a statement. Carter  had no problem getting  coverage of his views from a local TV station WSET 13 or from Duncan Adams and The Roanoke Times.

Are the rumors / allegations true??  I don’t know. I hope not. I also hope the Board of Supervisors will investigate it further. They should have access to training and criminal records for every member  on the roster of EVERY Department County wide.

Is / was Botetourt County aware of these issues and if so, for how long? I’m scared to know.

Tomorrow’s meeting may be a good one to attend if you live in, visit or travel through Botetourt County. It’s not on the agenda but maybe some of these issues will be addressed. Call your supervisor and ask.

Visit Botetourt County’s Emergency Services Web Site

**Note** I had this post in the “que” awaiting publishing when I received 2 comments from someone claiming to be Billy Joe Carter. I have not investigated to determine for certain if it is the Billy Joe Carter I’ve made reference to. The e-mail is a yahoo account and could very easily be an impostor “fueling the fire”.

In case it is him, I’ve decided to publish the comments. I am posting them “as received” with no guarantee or implication of the author.  They were left under the “contact”  tab of Ironfiremen.com vs. under a specific post.

His comments talked about needing to hear his “side” of the story … I though I had. I’ve seen the interviews and read the articles. A lot of my points / comments were quotes HE gave.

He also talks about me having forgot where I “came from” ….  I’ll debate that ANY DAY! Here are the comments…

“billy joe carter says

Hey willie.This is billy joe I would like to say keep up the good work I think your site is great and has some funny stuff in it man and thanks for putting me out their and doing your home work on me you got it all right shit you don’t need to be a ff hell get a news job because that seems that’s all you do but I like it and my back ground O that’s true good job but man I have to say you seem a little gay or your in love with me and that’s cool

on February 27, 2012 @ 1:42 pmReply (Edit)”

My response was ….

Iron Firemen says

No problem and THANKS Jim Bob … means a lot to me coming from you. Keep up the good work ;-)

on February 27, 2012 @ 2:22 pmReply (Edit)” 
A second comment received ….
 “billy joe carter says

Now you have my email so send me one anytime hell let’s just stay in touch every day I will keep you up to date on us hillbillies but I will tell you if I was looking I would have found you so stop playing games and grow up put your big boy gear on and do your job or you may not have one and their is always 2 sides to everthing so call or email me anytime and I will give you mine so that way you can report both sides and people like you are the reason I’m fighting so hard cause you and others forget where you come from but me I know and I also know the truth a mans life was saved that night was it done the right way no but I put my life on the line to save another and that’s what we are here for so I’m sorry if I made all ff look bad for saving a life then I’m sorry but if u are the man u say u r I know u would have done it to so let’s put this to rest I’m not going to bad mouth u or make fun of u which is very easy to do I’m going respect what u write and respect that u are a ff but I ask for the same if not then well we may have to have a face to face so in closing I ask that u get both sides and the truth but I really do like the site willie jr take care and besafe and if u ever need to know something just call me O I forgot its not a problem with paid guys its a problem with who they work for so I will be praying for u and your guys take care good luck and sorry all this was done by phone so try not to make to much fun of it plz thanks billy joe carter

 on February 27, 2012 @ 2:20 pmReply (Edit)” 
Let me know what you think on this issue. Leave your comments here or on Face Book

Click HERE to follow Ironfiremen.com on Face Book 

Thanks as always for following… sorry this one was so long…. I’ll check back in with ya in a day or so. Until then…

Stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines

 

Comments - Add Yours

  • Grammar Nazi

    Does he know what a period is? Longest run on sentences ever.

  • leon humpford

    all i can say is i have been a firefighter for yrs and never knew a chief to show up to calls in shorts and croks. i mean how many times he gonna get hurt. shouldnt he have been watching for power line versus standing there and letting it fall on him. and why would buchanan fire dept. stand by and let a multiple convicted felon threaten to bloody peoples noses? he just is bringing shame and embarrassment to his dept. and the community. the best thing they can do is get that man as far away from them as possible

  • http://yahoo leon humpford

    would someone just get rid of billy joe

  • DaveH

    “Does he know what a period is?”

    yes… it’s something a woman misses 9 months before a welfare check shows up.

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  • No.1 Willie fan in Virginia

    Captain Willie, I am a Captain in a large Metropolitin North Carolina fire department. I am also a twenty year proud volunteer fireman and a vol rescue squad member here in Virginia (Pittsylvania County). I have talked and visited with Rhett on numerous occasions on his historical work.
    I just wanted to say that the volunteer service is not what it used to be. If people knew where I lived who staffed these organizations now they would be in for a rude awakening. Something terriable is going to happen, and when it does something will be done but then it will be to late (staffing, lack or training, lack of damn common sense). At the same token, need to be careful about local government coming in and setting up a new bureacracy in the name of public safety. Lets make sure there are way less “pencil pushers” and more “boots on the ground” so to speak. I deeply respect you and Rhett and Statter for all of your eforts towards the fire service. I hope to meet you someday. Please keep up the good work.

  • Clay

    WOW! Sometimes the truth hurts, I agree with the points you bring up and I totally agree with it’s not a volley vs. paid issue it’s a safety/firefighter issue. Has not the local media picked up on any of the criminal issues in this dept.?
    The “saving” of a life when Billy Bob got hurt I question because if I remember correctly there turned out to be nobody home, only life saved was his own by the big Guy upstairs.
    Capt. Wines I enjoy your site and visit it often, keep posting and I’ll keep reading.

  • north chief

    Cap.,sadly that county is not the only one operating like that, all of us know of an example in our areas. Slowly but surely we will weed these incompetents out, if not by peer pressure they usually go out under legal circumstances.As has been said many times, the days of litte kingdoms are fading quickly.

    Someday when a person calls 911 the computer will determine the closest responders regardless of political jurisdictions. I have heard that this does happen somewhere in the United States, not holdong my breath till it happens in my area and it sounds like its not on the horizon where you are either. They need someone with commonsense to take charge out there, I know a very sharp Captain who would fit the bill perfectly!

  • http://www.averagejakeff.wordpress.com Robby O

    It is just embarrising that this is happening in Virginia…in 2012 you would think that even the Department of Fire Programs would have stepped in by now after seeing alot of this stuff.

    This guy just needs to dissapear from the fire service forever.

  • Good old days

    This is why I left after 10yrs of dedicated service. It’s all dirty. I wish kids would have something better to see when entering the fire service. A lot of career guys start with volunteer. Who would want to start with this type of publicity. Best thing to do is let the issue die out. All the stories do is fuel the CO3 chief to continuously be in the spot light. Some people like the spotlight whether it’s good or bad publicity. I was hoping my kids could get what I got out of the Botetourt County Fire service with CO2 as I did. But I’m sad to say, it’s safer to dodge IED’s in Iraq then the political warfare that goes on in the fire service today. (Last statement was not meant to be literal).

    Capt – I enjoy your site and postings… Keep up the good work and stay safe.

  • Greg Davies

    I tell you what. Its been awkward serving a Roanoke County department that also serves Botetourt County. Until January, I really didnt have a sense of what was going on, because I was not an officer. I did not receive e-mails or attend county meetings, and we rarely ever interact with the volunteers that are at the bottom of this mess. We are shunned and considered the red headed step children because we are a spawn of RoCo, but I can tell you this: we’ve never hired any felons – background checks are performed on every member, and it is engrained into the head of every probationary member from day one that you keep your PPE with you at all times, and you will be wearing it before you step off the rig. We are one of the few, if not the only BoCo station in support of the new director, but its not just because we understand progression and forward thinking. We are mature enough to look at our daytime call stats and understand that we cant provide the service our community expects 24/7 like we used to, help from the county has been needed for a while, and the more the better. We know we arent being pushed aside and no one is playing babysitter, but the work has to get done promptly and efficiently. No one in the community is going to look down on you because you cant show up in your cape swooping in to your own theme music ( or in some cases croc’s and banjo music) to save the day. But now that I am an officer, and i’m hearing the stories and reading the e-mails/articles, it almost makes me embarrassed to don a uniform with the Botetourt County seal on it. It blows my mind that grown, supposedly mature men, who have been in the service for years, would act this way. All I will be able to say if anyone approaches me about this situation is that i’m very sorry, and we’re working to make things better. What else can you do? Yell they’re in my sandbox and my mommy didnt say it was okay? Pathetic.

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  • picman

    To the old boy that has a fear of fellons,I wouldn’t want save your ass either!

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