Both the News Messenger and the Washington Post carry articles about the problems at the Gainesville Fire Department located off of John Marshall Highway. The most recent scandal involves the results of an internal audit ordered by the County Board of Supervisors last September. The audit uncovered – staff that were not medically qualified to serve, volunteers that did not have the proper certifications and a woefully inadequate accounting mechanism.
These findings came to light because two volunteer firefighters attempting to run for a governing position at the station were suspended immediately prior to the election presumably without cause. One of those running was attempting to gain a position as Treasurer a position held by the wife of the Chief of the Station. More disturbing the public has learned that the Gainesville District Volunteer Fire Department Chief Richard Bird, his wife – Wanda and 3 children have been living at the station for years.
The overbearing question is why did the County Board of Supervisors not maintain fiduciary oversight over the Fire Department? Why did it take two volunteers to bring this situation to the forefront?
The audit can be found here –