Cumberland Notebook: Call times on the rise across the county

Published 7:18 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

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Cumberland Fire and EMS Chief Andy Aigner says that calls are about the same from month to month. The only difference in the data is that call times and turnaround times are going up. During their August meeting, he told the Cumberland supervisors this may be due to longer waits at the hospital. The state has acknowledged this as an issue across the Commonwealth and has put out guidance.

During the very hot days this summer, the fire department was able to partner with the Cumberland County Public Library as a cooling center. People could come to get out of the heat and read a book or other activities the library offers. That’s a service the library provides as part of the national public library system. 

“We greatly appreciate the partnership they allowed us to have,” said Aigner. “It was a tremendous benefit to the community. It was something we may not have been able to pull together so quickly without them.”

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The stations are continuing their training. They just completed the driver’s training to get the certification to pursue an actual license to drive the emergency vehicles. Aigner and the volunteer chiefs are looking to start county-wide training, especially in the driver series which has three components that are 16 hours each. This also serves as a great opportunity for the different stations to practice working together outside of an emergency and build better relationships. 

The fire department is also officially a health and safety institute organization and can teach CPR. It is a priority for the department to get all volunteers certified before doing community classes.

Cumberland schools start the new year

Also during the August meeting, Cumberland County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Chip Jones gave an update as students are back in the classroom to start the new school year. Even though the year has started, the district is still looking for teachers to fill empty positions. 

The schools held a joint celebration with an open house and National Night Out. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate, the collaboration made for a good night. Jones extended a thank you to all the community organizations that donated school supplies. 

All staff took part in civilian casualty care training with the Department of Criminal Justice (DCJ). Everyone except transportation attended the training to be prepared in case the unthinkable takes place. 

“When I called DCJ about that, they said we were the only school division in the commonwealth of Virginia that required that training for their staff,” said Jones.

For the track project, the track is coming along nicely with the next step being the striping. The new middle school playground is now complete just in time for the start of the year. 

Library hires assistant librarian

Glenn Mozingo, chair of the board of trustees, announced that Amy White has joined as the assistant librarian at Cumberland County Public Library. She was formerly a librarian with Buckingham County and currently works at Cumberland Middle School bringing great experience.

The library is currently preparing for Patriot Day. They will have a pop-up tent set up with book giveaways and a treasure chest of prizes. This will also be a great opportunity for residents to sign up for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library or apply for a library card. For the library card, there is now only one form of identification required making it easier than before. 

On the business side, the library state aid application was approved at the beginning of the month and they are currently with the county firm to help close their books for 2022. 

“We also have decided to stop collecting book fines,” said Mozingo. “We usually write them off so there’s really no reason to collect them. But we are continuing to charge people if they lose or damage a book.” 

The Central Virginia Regional Library is helping order books for the library. The first order took place on Aug. 1 and should come in soon. They are also doing the integration process for the new library system which will be completed in the next three to four months. 

VDOT update

Finally, County Administrator Derek Stamey gave a quick update on the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The curve on Clinton Road is currently being looked at by traffic engineers after concerns were brought up in the previous meeting. 

The Cartersville intersection resurfacing is scheduled for this week. Contractors will mill and repave the road and install temporary tape pavement markings and then VDOT will install new signage. After monitoring the intersection they will replace the markings with permanent ones.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel for this project,” said Stamey.