Despite opposition and criticism from volunteers who will use the new facility, Franklin County, VA, Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 3 to start construction of a new $5.3 million combined fire-EMS station in Glade Hill, according to a report published by The Roanoke Times.
Combining the home for the Glade Hill Volunteer Fire Department and the county-staffed Glade Hill EMS station has been talked about for about 10 years, the newspaper reported, adding that the volunteer fire department currently operates out of a 1960s fire station.
The firefighters said at Tuesday night’s meeting they feared that under the combined arrangement, the department’s equipment and apparatus would end up being controlled by the paid county staff, the first step toward shutting the fire department down, the newspaper reported. The firefighters requested changes that would far exceed the cost of the original bid, the paper added.
At one point during the debate, a letter was presented signed by 20 volunteer firefighters who said they would not use the new building when it was completed, the paper reported.
Supervisors in support of the new station said there were plenty of other volunteers who supported the new station and, faced with a looming deadline on the bid deadline, the board voted to approve the project, according to the newspaper.