Albemarle Fire Chief Discusses Future of Members of Dissolved Rescue Squad
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad members are wondering what happens now after Albemarle County supervisors voted to dissolve their group.
Supervisors announced on Wednesday, April 17, that Albemarle County Fire-Rescue is taking over response to emergency services in the town and other parts of southern Albemarle County.
Current volunteers wouldn't speak on camera, but they say they are concerned about what happens now since Albemarle County Fire-Rescue has officially taken over all operations in that part of the county.
“Since 1974, they’ve provided vital community services, emergency medical services to the town of Scottsville, and the wider rural area in four counties,” Matt Lawless, the Scottsville town administrator, said.
Albemarle County Fire-Rescue says any volunteers will be welcome to join other squads now that the group in Scottsville has been dissolved.
Lawless says having plenty of volunteers is still critical.
"That volunteerism remains vital to the community, and we still need volunteer EMTs and firefighters and there are still opportunities to volunteer,” Lawless said.
Lawless says the low number of volunteers is a problem on the national level, and according to Fire Chief Dan Eggleston, other parts of Albemarle are no exception.
“I think our call volume continues to increase,” Eggleston said. “You know, we have an aging population which tends to drive the number of EMS calls up. That, combined with we’re a growing community, more population, more visitors, so the calls increased and at the same time, people, you know, society’s changing, people have less discretionary time today as they did 20-30 years ago.”
While some details still need to be ironed out, Eggleston says someone will answer those emergency calls no matter what.
“I don't anticipate any significant budgetary impacts with this decision,” Eggleston said. “We had fully funded the volunteer rescue squad before. I just imagine that money would go directly towards maintaining the assets that we have down there now.”
The town manager anticipates volunteers will still be busy at the Fourth of July parade.
Plus, they'll set time aside to thank those people for their efforts.