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Albemarle Co. BOS to Discuss Funding for Fire and Rescue Stations

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Firetruck at the Monticello Fire Station in Albemarle County Firetruck at the Monticello Fire Station in Albemarle County
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors is set to take up how fire and rescue stations in the county are funded.

First responders say making changes will benefit everyone.

The volunteer fund was approved originally by the BOS in 2006 and revised in 2010. Now, firefighters and EMS workers say it’s important to keep the funding up to date so they can focus on saving lives.

“It really shouldn't cost you money out of pocket to volunteer,” Chief Kostas Albertis of Western Albemarle Rescue Squad said.

By expanding the volunteer fund for the Albemarle County Department of Fire and Rescue, operational costs would cover things like utilities and grounds maintenance. That way, first responders can focus on training and keeping equipment up to date.

"This particular engine behind us is about a $750,000 expense, now it'll last up to 20 years based upon its use but we've got to maintain that piece of apparatus because it has to be ready to go,” Dan Eggleston, Albemarle County fire rescue chief said.

"Volunteer training is very expensive, if you look at what some folks charge for even basic EMT classes, it can be upwards of $1,000 a person … being able to have the funding to provide for training is critical,” Albertis said.

Updating the funding allocations would also help fill in gaps for things like meal costs, uniforms, and up keep of facilities.

“When someone comes to work to volunteer, we don’t want to have to shift their priorities to worry about how they keep the lights on, how to outfit their folks or train their folks. We want them to be able to focus on the leadership, the responding to calls, and training their folks so they can best serve our community,” Albertis said.

Eggleston says they also plan on recommending to the BOS that they come back every three years to update the volunteer fund to keep it up to date with costs. The BOS will talk about this volunteer fund at its meeting Wednesday, July 12.

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