Letter to the Editor: It’s not always about fire safety, but it should be.
Published 9:50 pm Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Recently, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors and the Buckingham fire departments had a conversation about fire safety in the southern part of Buckingham County. It seems that if a person living in the southern part of the county were to place a call to 911, it automatically gets routed to the Farmville dispatch since it’s the closest area. The 911 dispatcher, upon realizing that the caller is in Buckingham County, forwards the call to the Buckingham dispatch center.
A proposal had been made by the Farmville area fire departments that, in the event of a fire situation, they would be dispatched immediately since Farmville is closer and then the call would be transferred to Buckingham.
The Buckingham fire departments would then also respond. This would obviously reduce response times to the callers’ location by approximately half. The Buckingham fire chiefs, as represented by Dr. Brian Bates, did not want this to occur. Their argument against dispatching Farmville fire was that the Farmville departments may already be busy with a fire or event.
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This is true, they may be busy, but so what? If the Farmville area fire departments are busy, then the call would be forwarded to Buckingham dispatch center just as it is today. There would be no difference. If the Farmville departments are available, then they would respond and, since they are closer, they would arrive much sooner and Buckingham would still respond. This way the earlier response times by Farmville may save property and/or lives – it’s fire safety. That’s what fire departments are supposed to do.
In my opinion, the Buckingham fire departments just don’t want the neighbor kids playing in their sandbox, while our lives and property are at stake and the Buckingham Board of Supervisors allows this to happen. If you live in the southern part of the county like me, then remember this when it’s time to vote or the fire department asks for money.