Squad vice president resigns

Published 9:07 pm Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Vice President of the Buckingham County Volunteer Rescue Squad (BCVRS) has resigned from active duty with the squad, officials from the squad reported.

Lisa Taylor-Jones

Lisa Taylor-Jones, vice president of the squad, said Wednesday that she recently went back to lifetime status, or inactive status, due to health and family obligations.

Taylor-Jones turned in equipment during the squad’s board meeting Monday.

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Squad President Kerry Flippen confirmed Taylor-Jones’ resignation from active duty and said she was granted lifetime membership several years ago.

The rescue squad became a topic of discussion during the Aug. 13 board of supervisors meeting after harassing phone calls were made to a Buckingham resident who expressed concern about the squad’s operations.

Katie Emanuel, the resident who expressed concern and received the call, played the audio recording of the harassing message during the board meeting.

Taylor-Jones denied being the caller. She said it was potentially suspected to be a parent of a current or past squad member.

Flippen said Taylor-Jones was the caller, and said members of the Board of Supervisors and those in the audience who heard the audio message recognized the voice as belonging to Taylor-Jones.

“That’s who it was,” Flippen said when asked about the identity of the caller.

Flippen asked that the issue be put to bed, saying the rescue squad has had enough issues over the past year.

Rebecca Carter, county administrator, said Wednesday she received confirmation from the president of the rescue squad that Taylor-Jones was the caller.

According to an audio of one of the phone calls obtained by The Herald, the speaker said Emanuel complained about the squad but did little to support it.

Emanuel, who lives in Northern Buckingham, first spoke during the July Buckingham County Board of Supervisors meeting after her mother died at the hospital after she and her mother waited nearly a half-hour for the rescue squad to arrive from Dillwyn when Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad (SVRS) was approximately five minutes away.

The two departments, in December, reverted back to a mutual aid agreement established in 2003 that would require Scottsville to receive permission from its chief to respond to incidents in Buckingham County.

Emanuel expressed concern that the agreement could pose risks for residents in the northern end of the county who live further away from the Buckingham rescue squad.

The call was made to the pet grooming company Emanuel owns in Charlottesville.

“I’m sorry to hear about your mother passing away,” the caller said in the voice message that lasted approximately two minutes and continued that Emanuel was “slam(ming)” the rescue squad and assumed she never volunteered with the squad.

“If you want a squad up in your area, then watch your taxes rise because that’s what’ll happen,” the caller said. “Keep on with the attitude, because Scottsville does not want to come into Buckingham because they don’t want to be responsible for Buckingham people. They have enough on their own.”

“I’m sorry your mom passed away, but to slam the people that are trying to run that squad is crazy, and it is disgraceful, and I don’t see you writing a check to them, and I don’t see you volunteering to work there to relieve any shortages that are there, so that they can put a squad up in your area,” the caller continued. “Get together with your neighbors and take a course and find out what’s involved to do that, and then you can complain when there’s no squad up there, but don’t sit at home and then be mad.”

The caller continued that if Emanuel wanted the services of a rescue squad close by, to go to  “Charlottesville where your business is. Then you pay the high taxes. That’s why you live in Buckingham because you don’t want to pay the taxes of Charlottesville. Charlottesville has paid crew 24/7 at every corner. If that’s what you want, move there, but you’re not going to get it in a rural county like Buckingham.”

“Someone who just lost their mother and is dealing with the repercussions, with a young child who witnessed everything, shouldn’t be harassed,” Emanuel said, referring to her six-year-old daughter. “Shouldn’t have to be calling the police.”

Emanuel reported the call to Albemarle Police Department. According to documentation obtained by the police department, one call was reported June 27.

The police narrative cited that the call came after a news station ran a story about the two counties’ mutual aid agreement and Emanuel’s concerns.

“There were no threats made in the message or during any of the calls,” the narrative cited, but continued that the caller sounded upset.

District Three Supervisor Don Matthews said he agreed with Emanuel, and said board members would take action to address the incidents with the rescue squad.

“There’s going to be some repercussions with that,” Matthews, a member of the rescue squad committee with Board Chairman Danny Allen, said. “We’re going to take some action for that particular conversation.”

Flippen said he spoke with Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad Captain Brian Cropp Aug. 14 and told squad members they could respond to emergencies in Buckingham County. Flippen reported that the squad was interested in a meeting with Scottsville, but that they have not heard back from Scottsville to confirm a meeting date.