Volunteers oppose Franklin County fire and emergency station project

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) – The Franklin County Volunteer Fire Services have spoken out against plans to build a new fire and emergency station in the Glade Hill area.

“We do not support this station as it is designed and proposed,” said Franklin County Volunteer Firefighters Association president Morris Ledbetter.

The association doesn’t want to see the county spending millions to turn the land the county has already purchased at the intersection of Turtle Hill Road and Old Franklin Turnpike into a combination of fire hall and EMS.

“The proposed project largely ignored the needs of the Glade Hill Volunteer Fire Department while being presented to the community and the board of directors under the guise of supporting volunteers,” said Ledbetter.

According to Ledbetter, the new station would not house all of Glade Hill’s equipment and describes it as an EMS station with a single fire engine.

The discussion comes after a heated meeting in June, in which board members were divided over the proposal.

The association said it wanted to see improvements at Glade Hill, but didn’t want the board to forget about other volunteers.

“An estimate of $ 5.2 million at one station takes away funds for other projects that we need as bad as if not worse than that single station,” Ledbetter said.

Volunteer positions are about three years behind their fire truck rotation, which means they need improved equipment across the county, Ledbetter said.

The supervisory board responded to these concerns in a statement saying it was working on a study to “provide an in-depth analysis of the future of the county fire department’s facility, equipment and operational needs. “.

The county public safety director has previously said the combined station will serve the community better.

But volunteers at Tuesday’s meeting said the proposed plans are not the answer.

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