Advertisement

Fire contingency fund proposed

November 26, 1997

Fire contingency fund proposed

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

Washington County Fire and Rescue Association officials proposed Tuesday that the County Commissioners set up a contingency fund to pay the cost of fighting major disasters or hazardous materials incidents.

Spokesman Robert Cumberland said that such a fund would prevent the problems that plagued the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co. after a large tire fire in April.

The Maugansville company incurred $47,000 in costs, including manpower, and $18,000 in special chemicals used to put out the fire.

The company was unable to collect money from the owner of the property. The commissioners have stepped in to help pay the fire company's costs and to try and collect the money.

Advertisement

The county also is trying to get grant money from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Cumberland said somebody in the county should be responsible for coordinating major disasters and funding.

County Administrator Rodney Shoop said the county will consider the idea as part of a three-year comprehensive review of disaster planning.

Fire Association President Jay Grimes said the association wants to have more disaster drills. A mock disaster staged Saturday didn't go as well as planned, he said.

"I can't say we were totally overwhelmed with the results. The flow just wasn't there," he said.

Grimes said offering $1,000 rewards for top performance in a drill could foster competition. Having less predictable drills also would help, he said. With a typical drill, a fire company may have three months notice and will be prepared - an advantage firefighters won't have in a real disaster.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|