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 –[1].pdf

64 Thoughts to “Gainesville Fire Department Dissolved”

  1. GainesvilleResident

    Everything I’ve read about this in the past few days sounds like things were a real mess there. I hadn’t heard anything about this previously but apparently it has been somewhat in the news for the past few months. The books were in such bad shape they can’t even tell where all the money is. It is hard to believe this was apparently allowed to go on for as long as it did. It sounds like the county needs to have a lot more oversight here – for some reason due to the combination of the fire departments being staffed by both volunteers and professionals, but apparently with volunteers actually in charge – a lot of things were let go without much oversight.

    The Washington Post has an article about this at

  2. 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?

    Because government rewards theft and punishes productivity. That is it’s nature.

  3. Juturna

    Because the volunteers were a huge voting block. This might accelerate increasing career staff but that takes money
    PWC Govt needs to be more than just Public Safety.
    Too bad we spent all our money forcing police officers to do what jailers already were doing. Brilliant use of funds.

  4. Chris

    Someone had posted this link on the newspapers comments section. It’s the Audit Report.
    I’ve not read the whole thing, but what I’ve read is not good. It’s especially not good for we the residents of PWC. It seems as though our Coutny Code needs to be ameneded, and sooner than later.
    *note you might have to cut and paste to open document*

    PWC residents deserve so much better than this. The BOS needs to take a more active role in the future to see that this fixed, and doesn’t happen again. We ALL care about public safety, however we have to make sure that the limited resources going to the stations that it must used and NOT abused.

    This from the report under Overall Opinion.
    “Audit Services further concludes that the County has not exercised sufficient authority and oversight over the volunteer fire system, has not positioned itself to effectively manage the volunteer departments, and has failed to hold them accountable for business and financial decisions. This has resulted in a volunteer fire department system with unsatisfactory internal controls that ranks high rish for fraud, wate, abuse, and misuse of fire levy funds and does not provide the Coutny with reasonable assurance that business objectivees are met.”

  5. Moon-howler

    I have to ask the big question that people seem to be tip-toeing around. Why does this gang of apparent crooks get over $600,000 of county (our) money with little or no oversight? Why are they not accountable?

    How come the Gainesville supervisor is not aware that the chief of the Gainesville FD has been living at the firehouse? And he is worried about strange living arrangements in Westgate? He is worried about ‘illegals?’ How about worrying about the ‘homegrowns?’ He has been the supervisor for almost 6 years now hasn’t he?

    I simply cannot believe this is going on and has been going on. Why aren’t all the fire departments under one big fire department? What am I missing here?

  6. Lucky Duck

    Moon-Howler, in Prince William, we have a hybrid system for fire services. The paid people work days and in the last few years, some have been working nights but nights and weekends are mainly staffed by volunteers. Each volunteer company acts as its own serfdom with a Chief, assistant chief etc. Makes for a lot of competing interests.

    As Juturna wrote, its a political game as well as a money game. The volunteers hold a lot of political power, especially in Dale City where the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department is led by a cabal that is connected to the BOCS. Same in Woodbridge with OWL VFD.

    Each volunteer department gets a share of County money from the Fire Levy paid in all Districts.

    Don’t kid youself, there is a huge difference in the quality of a paid firefighter and the volunteers. A paid firefighter whose certification ran out would be yanked off the line ASAP, that didn’t happen here with the volunteers. Sure there are some good volunteers but someone who does it for living is held to a higher standard. The volunteers will tell you they get the same training as the paid professionals, but they simply don’t. Their academy is constructed differently to start with. Do you think someone who is for example, an electrican five days a week and works as a volunteer on weekends is as experienced or knowledgeable as a paid professional who does the job five days a week?

    When you have volunteers, you have conflicts…for example, the President of the OWL Volunteer Fire Department is also employed by American Fire Company in Woodbridge. Well, where do you think the fire trucks are purchased?

    The whole volunteer system needs to be scrapped but its politically connected and very, very expensive to do.

  7. Moon-howler

    And money talks and we know what walks. I am simply astounded by what I am learning. Thank you Lucky Duck. Now I have about 500 more questions.

    The guy who is called the county fire chief…Chief McGee? I tried to find his name on the county website and it was not listed. Is he a paid person or does he just hang out?

    Does he have any control over the county money?

    This situation almost sounds illegal. At best it sounds like extreme conflict of interest.

    I am going to ask my question again….where were the county supervisors during all this Gainesville Fire Department mess? Why aren’t these fire companies required to keep immaculate records? How come the Gainesville Supervisor wasn’t aware of this less than desireable situation? Are Stonewall Jackson and Evergreen part of the Gainesville Fire Department? They are in the Gainesville Magisterial District.

    I need to see a fire department heirarchy chart.

    Do the paid firefighters and volunteers not get along?

    Which are the good looking ones? I saw some real hunks testifying before the BOCS. Were those people the professional firefighters? (Sorry, I had to ask)

  8. Chris

    GDVFD constists of two stations. The others you mentioned are NOT part of the GDVFD. Thank goodness for that. At least for now. I’m really concerned is this type of activity with funds rampant through out the county.

    I strongly urge you to take a look at the link I posted above. It gives a good background at the beginning, and it just seems to go down hill from there.

    What about the $90,000.00 for 8,000 sqr. ft of warehouse space?? For Battalion One’s disaster preparedness efforts and store emergency supplies and equipment to feed and susstain the members of Battalion One and their families for seven days in the event of a disaster. Battalion One is made up of five fire stations.(Stonewall, Nokesville, Yorkshire, Gainesville and Evergreen. $18,000 per station.

    Volunteer fire companies are supported by the fire levy, a tax assessed at the rate of $0.0597(per$100 assessed value of real estate) for FY2009.

  9. Fontbonne


    Chief McGee is career, not volunteer. If you couldn’t find a photo or a profile, it’s because Chief is a very low-key guy who isn’t about the limelight…he’s about public safety. My guess is he would be very happy to have an all-career FD, but as has been said previously, the political connections run very, very deep.

    Regarding oversight of volunteer FD books – as we’ve seen, Gainesville was a mess. Thing is, oversight takes resources, and the resources aren’t there. Funds are so limited that what little the FD gets has to go to training, equipment, and field personnel. Forget having an adequate number of professional staff, i.e., analysts, accountants, business managers, to keep an eye on things. Don’t get me wrong – the FD civilians minding the books are dedicated professionals, but there are very few of them, and there are only 24 hours in a day.

    Anyway. Such overhead is an investment – and in this case, having that oversight could very well have prevented the Gainesville meltdown – but the BOCS more often than not would rather refer to it as ‘bloated bureaucracy’.

  10. Fontbonne

    “Do the paid firefighters and volunteers not get along?”

    There is a bit of tension.

    “Which are the good looking ones?”

    The ladies in my office could speak knowledgeably about this, but I am going to go out on a limb and say career.

  11. Moon-howler

    Ah, I am a lucky woman. So many questions answered. Fontbonne, I seemed to recall the ones I saw speaking at the BOCS being career. I think the ladies in your office are probably right on the money and I just bet you have heard comments. Our firefighters are known throughout NoVA as being hunks.

    I thought Chief McGee was a paid professional. He comes across quite well. I just wish his name were more available. There is a very professional woman too. I cannot find her name. These people need to take a more visible position in the county.

    Chris, I am wading through it. It is quite a bit to absorb. I was unaware that these fire departments were independent. I thought Chief McGee was the boss of everyone. Silly me.

  12. Chris

    The more you absorb the more you will question. UFB!!!

  13. Veteran

    Before McGee became chief, he was in charge of money and accounting in the department as Deputy Chief (HE IS A NUMBERS GUY). He is very professional and is absolutely focused on getting Prince William residents the best fire and life safety protection available. I have only met him one time, but it was evident that he is top notch.

  14. Censored bybvbl

    The BOCS has been aware of problems with various stations for as long as I’ve lived in my neighborhood – twenty-five years. The volunteers indeed have a lot of political pull and to go to an all paid force is expensive. The City of Manassas has recently moved to increase its paid staff although volunteers are still part of its plan.

    Does anyone know if the county keeps track of how frequently staffing at the stations is inadequate (not able to man all the equipment) in the evenings or weekends or during rush hour when volunteers are coming in and paid staff leaving?

    I’m aware that stations can be run like little fiefdoms and that the safety of the community may absolutely not be top priority for volunteer officers, particularly those not on the trucks and in the ambulances. A couple decades ago my local station would have been a shining example of how not to run a professional firehouse as the prez and his wife couldn’t seem to distinguish between what should be fire station property and what should be their personal stuff. Luckily, that station has changed but I’d be curious of how accurate its record keeping is.

  15. Lucky Duck

    Censored, there are extensive records in the Public Safety Communications Center that would demonstrated which companies were available or not during specific periods of time.

    The best thing for this County (imho) and its people would be an all professional Fire Department. This would give the County complete authority over ALL actions as the County would be the employer. All certifications, equipment and expenses could be monitored and individuals held accountable. The actions of these serfdoms couldn’t happen under a professional department. Have you ever read about a Deputy or Officer of the County working in an uncertified status? No, because someone is held accountable for such things.

    Volunteers will scream about this, but sorry, the training IS different between them and paid (ask yourself would a person who works full time go through a professional fire academy everyday for 18 to 20 weeks? They can’t). The volunteers attend piecemeal taught by other volunteers. It is not the same.

    I admire the spirit of community demonstrated by the volunteers, but some professions should be left to the professionals for all of our sake.

  16. Censored bybvbl

    Lucky Duck, I agree that an all professional staff is the way to go – and long overdue.

  17. Moon-howler

    Long over-due and not likely to happen, given our current county financial situation.

    It would seem to me that all firehouses need to be staffed with career people. If volunteers want to fill in the spots, fine.

    I simply cannot believe that the Gainesville Fire Department situation existed in the county and that our supervisors allowed it to happen.

  18. WILLA


  19. A PW County Resident

    It appears that this thread has morphed from a financial debacle to whether volunteers do their job. I don’t see much of a connection. If volunteers were so undertrained, is that why there has only been 2 deaths while on duty, one involving Kyle Wilson, a hero and carreer fightfighter, and Cecilia Turnbough, a volunteer EMT going through the County fire academy, to become a firefighter? Do emergencies only occur during the day in Prince William County?

    So why do the volunteers volunteer? Must be for the fame and the money? Maybe it is to give to our community.

    So before we take an instance of one person’s apparent fiefdom and translate it across the county, maybe we should pause and take into account what people who volunteer in public safety mean to our community.

  20. A PW County Resident

    And I also take some issue with the statement about training. A relative of mine is a volunteer firefighter who got his Firefighter I and II certification from the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md, just to volunteer with the local fire department–not a job but an avocation.

  21. Lucky Duck

    PW County Resident, let me ask you a question…

    If you got on an airplane and the pilot announced that he or she was actually a plumber during the week at their regular job, but they love to fly so they received training and fly on the weekends as their “avocation” while still being a plumber during the week, would you fly on that plane? Or would you want a pilot that was a professional pilot to fly you and your family?

    I don’t question the spirit of the volunteer, but again, volunteer where other people’s lives or deaths are not impacted by your decisions. Someone who does the job everyday has more experience than someone who does it a few nights and weekends.

    Check out the training by the way, the volunteers meet MINIMUM standards for training and certification, the training of the career firefighters goes well beyond the minimum number of training hours. I want the person with training well beyond minimum standards working on me.

  22. A PW County Resident

    You might try to come up with a different analogy. I am a pilot by the way. But why didn’t you ask if I had to have surgery, would I want a plumber to do it or a surgeon who does it every day.

    Do you really believe that career firefighters by the fact that they are on duty on 24 hour shifts, most of the time not fighting fires, get so much more on the job experience.

    Cecilia Turnbough was attending the same training at the Prince William fire academy next to career firefighters. There is no requirement for career to pursue any higher training than the minimum either. The volunteers take training opportunities standing next to the career firefighter at the same courses.

  23. A PW County Resident

    I am not knocking the career firefighter but come on be a little fair–volunteers have been the main fire fighting force in this country since its founding. Not sure why people want to say that a career firefighter because he or she is paid is so much better than a volunteer.

    And being a pilot, I can assure you that we do not go in the back of the plane to shoot hoops while we are waiting to land the airplane.

  24. Moon-howler

    But is it time to staff our firehouses with career firefighters?

    I can’t see a situation where career and volunteer firefighters work side by side without friction. I dont think anyone is suggesting one is a better human being than the other, I believe all discussion has been about what is best for the county.

    It is very informative though, to hear both sides of this debate.

  25. Chris

    Clearly, anyone be it proffessional or volunteer firefighter want to serve their community.

    But, it seems as though there may need to be some “cleaning house” with some of the volunteer. There’s NO EXCUSE for anyone not certified to be treating anyone. We must be sure that all serving PWC have current certifications. Imagine the law suits when someone doesn’t get proper care due to an uncertified volunteer. We deserve better than this.

  26. Censored bybvbl

    A PW County Resident, training and financial accountability aside, a problem I see with relying solely on volunteers is their shortage. As commutes grow longer and the area grows more expensive in which to live, not as many people have the luxury of volunteering. But the stations still need to be manned.

  27. A PW County Resident

    MH, I ask a more basic question—why do you think it is time to staff with career? I would invite people to give their own documented evidence of where a volunteer operation made the county less safe? These would be things like people injured because a volunteer firefighter didn’t do his or her job? It has nothing to do with how an individual spent money at one fire operation.

    Does anyone recall the hoopla over spending money to train 6 people to do immigration investigations? Try training and hiring 600 to 1000 firefighters. So I would like to hear evidence that paying people to answer emergencies is best or worse for this county.

    Now if there was evidence of a lack of technical competence not just conjecture, I would agree but no one yet has indicated that.

  28. A PW County Resident

    Chris and Censored, I agree with both points. The biggest problem is staffing in my mind, but if the salaries do not keep up with the surrounding areas, career people do not stay either. A number of years ago, and it may be true today, PWC career firefighters used the training/experience here to get jobs in Fairfax, as you would expect.

    Chris, are you sure that career operations don’t have some documentation issues? After all, both the volunteer and career have to have some oversight by the PWC Fire Chief’s office. It seems that the audit report was just as critical of that aspect of the county not doing its duty as some fire chief living in the firehouse.

    But Censored, there is a measured way of doing things. If you find a habitual unstaffed operation, you staff it however you can. You don’t just disband an operation (not speaking of Gainesville – which I agreed the result).

  29. Lucky Duck

    PW Resident, several years ago there was a medical emergency in the county that required a specially certified CMT – I am NOT a medical person and that shortcut maybe wrong, but a Cardiac Emergency Medical Tech was needed in the area of Montclair and there was a shortage on the volunteer side. After that, the County mandated that career firefighters who possessed that certification work nights and weekends and be available within a certain response time. So yes, in that instance, not having the proper personnel on duty did, in fact, impact the safety of County residents.

    In Gainesville VFD there were uncertified people. How much more dangerous could you get? In the career service, there is a central authority within the department that holds responsibility for ensuring that certifications stay current. When you have five, ten or twelve different volunteer companies, things like this fall through the cracks.

    Also, what about the County tax money collected thru the fire levy? Each department operates on its own with the money via their own budgets etc. Gainesville couldn’t even find all the money. As a taxpayer, I have to ask, is this the most efficient model?

  30. Chris

    A PW County Resident,
    It was stated there were volunteers that weren’t physically fit and didn’t have certifications. Now, I ask you. Would you want someone not physically fit and/or not certified working on you or your loved ones?

    I feel that those not fit and certified for the “job”(volunteer included) should not be working on me or my loved ones. I don’t want them passing out on me, and/or fumbling for what to do next.

  31. A PW County Resident

    Chris, I am not disputing that at all. Much of the report was about the oversight not given by PW Fire and Rescue. And the thing in Gainesville has been known for some time and yet nothing took place until recently.

    Lucky Duck, there are backups throughout the county. If a particular station does not have someone, another station is called in immediately. But they have to know the problem.

  32. Lucky Duck

    PW, in theory, you are correct, that is how the system is supposed to work. But that is dependent upon each company on duty to notify the Communications Center. In the instance I used above, somebody did not. That is when the County began mandating the career personnel with specialized certification to work nights and weekends.

    Do you have a comment on the uncertified volunteers? Don’t you agree that such a situation is dangerous to County residents? Such a thing could not happen in the career system as they are monitored and regulated by the central records system of the career Fire Department and if they were de-certified, they would be removed from the line of response.

  33. Censored bybvbl

    As the situation stands now, how can an officer of the volunteer company be challenged on policy by another volunteer – particularly in stations that have had the same group entrenched for a long period? I realize that someone who has volunteered for a long period – and perhaps helped establish a company – may be reluctant to share control. How are PWC citizens guaranteed that the station is acting in their interests and not in the interest of some volunteer?

    And, who owns the stations – volunteers or the county – or does this vary by station? Suppose a station decides that it will thumb its nose (hard to visualize -haha) at the county – can it sell off the station or any of the equipment? What prevents this?

  34. A PW County Resident

    Censored, I believe that the stations and equipment are owned by the volunteers to the extent it is a volunteer organization like Dale City Volunteer Fire Department.

    LD, I thought I kinda answered that above with Chris. If it wasn’t clear, I do not want uncertified people performing those duties. I have also been around long enough to know that there are different degrees of uncertified including a technical and administrative one. I don’t know what that story is actually so it is hard to comment specifically but certainly in general I am against any uncertified situations. By administrative I mean that either the certification took place by the state but for whatever reason it was not noted by the local authorities.

    Again, I will go back to what I said. The PWC Fire and Rescue should have an oversight responsibility. I believe they already do have a responsibility, otherwise you couldn’t close a fire operation. The issue continues to be for me not the volunteer versus career but the lack of oversight.

    I guess no one, especially in a computer age, has the time monthly to go check the certifications and training at each station? Is it lack of time or desire? That would do more for keeping us safe than to suggest that all volunteers are unqualified because there was a problem with a couple.

    How many people know that there is a doctor that runs as a volunteer paramedic here in PW County? I read about it a couple of years ago in the Potomac News. I was pretty impressed. So I could have answered if I had my druthers between a pilot and a plumber, I would prefer a doctor who happens to want to give to this community. But we can all probably give anectodal evidence on both sides of the issue about the benefits of either a volunteer or career but I believe that proper oversight by the county would go a long way so that so don’t need to debate that aspect.

    I guess that it would cost about $60 million or more annually to go to a career staff (assuming that salaries are in the $50-60 thousand range together with overhead like training, station maintenance etc. times an extra 600 paid firefighters.) I saw a webpage that said PW is about 500 paid and 1000 volunteer so that is the magnitude that you are talking about.

    I think it would be a bit cheaper to go do some oversight so that you know that you have quality safety professionals –volunteer and careeer.

  35. A PW County Resident

    And I can’t type either 🙂

  36. Moon-howler

    I am not able to wrap my mind around a fire company getting over a half million dollars from the county with no oversight and no accountability. There is also that ‘warehouse’ situation.

    How usual is it for families just to live in firehouses?

  37. madmomof5

    “How usual is it for families just to live in firehouses?”

    It isn’t unusual as you would think. I’ve heard of a couple of stations where people live there, but it is usually bachelors or men whose wives have thrown them out.

    Right before the 2007 election, there was discussion about this when Stewart suggested that the departments come under the Chief and all heck broke loose. They had a meeting over in Dale City where a couple hundred volunteers came and vowed to throw their support to Sharon Pandak because they absolutely would not tolerate that change. They said it was the county’s way of getting rid of the volunteers. They had raised all that money to buy stuff for the firehouses and the county could not take it from them. My neighbor attended and came home all fired up how the county had better not try to take all the stuff they had raised the money to buy. He gave me an earful about how the whole system is organized. I got the impression that each department feels like they as a group “own” everything in the house and no one, especially the county, is going to take anything from them without a fight.

    So this becomes a very complicated problem because how would the county take over when the firehouses fundraised to buy some of that equipment. The co-mingled funds would make it very hard to suddenly take over.

    To go entirely professional would be cost prohibitive in these budget times, but I guess as we get more urban in this area that is what will eventually happen as they’ll have a harder time finding volunteers to staff the firehouses.

  38. A PW County Resident

    Madmom, I think oversight is different than takeover. There are existing oversight responsibilities that I think are not being done. If there were no oversight responsibility, the county would have no right to audit Gainesville except perhaps in how the levy was spent. It would not cover who was certified, etc. So either the county auditors overstepped their bounds and expanded the audit into areas they had no authority to review or someone is not doing the oversight that is already supposed to be done.

    The issue you were talking about was the suggestion that volunteer chiefs report to the Fire chief and that would involve staffing and utilization which is far different than making sure that there are county standards and firefighters are properly certified.

    Constructing buildings that costs unimaginable amounts of money and purchasing equipment that costs several hundreds of dollars apiece is no small matter and the county taking them should cause concern. To whom would the county pay to purchase them?

    So it is a complicated issue as you have posted.

  39. PW Volunteer

    Lucky Duck is incorrect about the training of volunteers. There are minimum standards set from on high that everyone must follow. He/She is correct that career folks may go above and beyond, but every person who volunteers has a basic level of training that ensures that they are able to respond appropriately in the event of an emergency. The plumber flying a plane analogy is misleading–the volunteers work their butts off and do keep the community safe at a fraction of the cost of full time career staffing. It’s not like you can just walk into a station and then you are putting fires out and performing rescues that same day. The fact that GVFD had folks that may not have been certified to these minimum standards is probably one of the reasons the BOCS decided to do what they did.

  40. WILLA


  41. Moon-howler

    PW Volunteer, madmomof5, a PW County Resident, Thanks so much for 3 very different points of view. I will confess, I never thought about the heirarchy of the fire departments. I knew there was a fire chief and I wrongly assumed he was the boss of everyone–sort of like Chief Deane is boss of all the cops. Apparently I was wrong.

    So what do each of you all feel should be done with the Gainesville Fire department(s)?

  42. Lucky Duck

    PW Volunteer, I said that ALL get the MINIMUM amount of training BUT that career fighterfires go well above the minimum standards and that I would prefer having someone with training well above the MINIMUM standards responding to my call.

    Please re-read my post of 1/18/09 @ 12:10 PM to see exactly what I wrote before you write something incorrect again.

    I stand by my opinion that we’d better off with a fulltime, paid, professional Fire and Rescue Service. I’ll glady pay the extra cost associated with that.

  43. Moon-howler

    Willa, not everyone even has an opinion about volunteers vs professional firefighters/first responders. I am at the information seeking state only. The only thing I have an opinion on is that over $600k of county money with no oversight is wrong.

    You may have seen a few comments made that you take issue with. How about addressig those. Give us a break. Most of us are learning from people who know more about this issue than we do.

  44. Moon-howler

    Lucky Duck,

    What would happen to the volunteers if PWC went with an all professional FD? Would some of those volunteers then become paid members of the fire department?

    I would think that anyone would rather do something for pay than for free.

  45. Juturna

    Fire Levy funds and proffers are used to pay for stations. County must pay for all career staff for stations.

    Volunteers are dwindling – many medic units cannot respond to calls unless they have all the folks they need on the unit. Thinking you can ‘borrow’ from the closest station is irresponsible. This is has been going on for the past four years – the need to go to 24 hour career has been ignored for political and fiscal reasons.

    Volunteers are an insulated group as is most of public safety – they all have their own internal “experts’ – lawyers, accountants, dentists, plumbers, electricians you name it – this assumption that they can manage everything on their own is their usual downfall – as it is in this case.

    Except you have two ticked off former members as whistleblowers……. That insular mentality brings this on as well.

    Volunteers bypass all county staff (they are useless per BVBL anyway) and deal directly with BOCS. So I am curious why now everyone thinks county staff – Gerhart down should have known/done anything. Their hands have been tied.

  46. Juturna

    The state has minimum training standards for all of public safety. Who wants to be served by those with the minimum required???? It’s the old low bid issue.

  47. Lucky Duck

    Good question, I would think that most would simply return to the professions they do during the day. If they did apply for the County Fire/Rescue Department they would have to go through the entire hiring process…apply, test, background, physical test, physical exam, psychological, interview etc., the whole works. It would not nor could not, be a simple crossover to where they would become County employees just because they are/were volunteers. There is a process in place for that agency to be hired and to abridge that process would leave the County open to all sorts of legal and liability questions.

  48. Tuscadero

    Why did this happen?

    Because Gainesville’s supervisor spent too much time cozying up to hate groups and chasing immigrants. Meanwhile, back at the ranch…the fires are raging and there is no one to put them out.

    I also agree with Mackie

  49. Juturna

    Of course the county would go broke in the process. Minor point.

    Good point Tuscadero – that is the political part I refer to. Our real needs went un-addressed for the better part of two years. Partly due to illegal immigration and partly due to personal gain……

  50. Moon-howler

    Juturna, so are you saying that the Birds reported directly to John Stirrup and not to Mr. Gerhart?

    I guess non-county employees can by-pass whoever they want.

    How do these rogue stations get the county money? Do they apply for it? Do they submit expenses? Do they bill the county?

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