Saving rescue squad was right choice

Published 10:21 am Thursday, October 13, 2016

When the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last month to pay off the debt owed on the Cumberland Volunteer Rescue Squad (CVRS) Building in exchange for making the squad a county agency, it not only saved the organization, but numerous lives across the county.

We commend supervisors for stepping up to the plate and assuming responsibility for this life-saving operation.

Not only did the agreement result in the county taking care of the squad’s administrative paperwork and finances; it resulted in the county providing the rescue squad with paid crewmembers — a benefit that will continue to pay dividends to Cumberland residents and the CVFD.

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“Beginning Oct. 1, as you are aware, we provided 24/7 coverage of the CVRS with a paid crew from Emergency Services Solutions,” County EMS and Fire Chief Tom Perry said during the board’s Tuesday meeting. “(I’m) happy to report that, as of today, there have been 25 calls for service in that … period and we have 100 percent success rate as far as answering the calls. No calls have been missed anywhere in Cumberland or in the Cartersville area.”

This success is a far cry from the previous situation, alleviated by the board’s action. And it’s nobody’s fault there were only four volunteers with an agency that covers thousands of people.

Cumberland is not immune to the drastic dwindling of volunteer bases of groups and organizations that care for others with little or no reimbursement. Look at the number of volunteers with fire departments in rural Buckingham and Prince Edward counties compared to what they were 10-20 years ago.

We have a never-ending well of appreciation and gratitude for the volunteers who work and have worked tirelessly for no money or recognition in making our emergency response organizations what they are today.

What supervisors in Cumberland did last month bolsters that foundation.