Fire department banned from community events, says volunteer
I would like to take this opportunity to inform the residents of the towns/communities served by the Bay de Grave Regional Fire Department that the board has decided the department will no longer be participating in any community events.
The governing board, consisting of town council members of the towns served — Cupids, Clarke’s Beach, South River, Makinsons and North River — have decided that the department will no longer participate in such events as Christmas parades, tree lightings, Remembrance Day services and any other festivals and family fun days.
As a volunteer, I feel this is an insult to all the firefighters that volunteer and give up their own personal time with their families to attend such functions, in addition to the emergency response calls.
The board is more concerned about the cost incurred “by them” for the department to attend its served town’s events, in which the ONLY cost would be fuel. Yet, the taxpayers of these towns/communities are the individuals attending these events. And it’s their tax dollars that in turn offsets for fuel costs, not the board itself.
I feel that by the department’s members attending such functions in their hometowns, it helps to create good community relations, is a great way to boost morale and encourages family-oriented activities, as most have their own families which join in and participate.
If residents were educated in the non-essential expenses incurred by the board, the cost of attending these functions would seem minimal in comparison. But, as for volunteering and willing to attend, the department will be forced not to do so.
In saying this, I truly feel it’s time for the residents of our towns/communities to decide if the proper people are in place to direct and decide such fate of our department and essential services provided to all residents.
Something to think about.