It is just silly of the county supervisors not to allow their paid firefighters to volunteer at their local firehouses in their off-duty hours if these are not the stations they are normally assigned to. The practice is common in nearby counties.
This policy only make sense in the context of the county fire and rescue department’s relentless bureaucratic empire building and its insidious “who, me?” efforts to undermine the volunteer civic organizations, notably the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department and the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad, who provide these services over wide sections of the county at high standards of dedication, virtual professionalism, and enormously lower cost to taxpayers.
WARS for instance is under steady pressure to start charging the people it carries to hospitals, a practice which will destroy its community support because folks will assume that its expenses are being covered. It will become a client of the county, all so the county can tap a new way to raise money, this time from insurance companies who will simply raise their charges on us. Expect the volunteers in both organizations to quit if that stage is reached. Already both CVFD and WARS are demoralized by the years of sniping and guerilla warfare from county officials.
These organizations are built literally on generations of community support and the volunteers’ personal sacrifices. They embody the ideal civic culture that Jefferson envisioned for America. We have achieved it.
But, no. County policy seems determined to exterminate them and apparently only out of local government’s lust for control, control, control. Empire building is rampant all through county offices.
It’s time for the supervisors to start representing us and not their employees. Those employees work for us, and just because we hire them does not mean they get to rule us.