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Berkeley County OKs deal for paid firefighters to be stationed at third volunteer fire department

August 16, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — An agreement that allows for paid firefighters to be stationed at a third volunteer fire department in Berkeley County was formally approved Thursday by the Berkeley County Council.

Council members voted unanimously to authorize Council President William L. “Bill” Stubblefield to sign the proposed memorandum of understanding between the county, the Berkeley County Fire Board, Berkeley County Fire & Rescue Association and the South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Co.

Roger Williams, a longtime South Berkeley volunteer firefighter who attended Thursday’s council meeting, hailed the success of the new partnership, which he said volunteers have accepted.

Williams said response times have improved since two county-paid firefighters were stationed at the Inwood, W.Va., fire company’s facilities several months ago as part of a trial period.

Before Thursday’s vote, the county council approved the signing of similar agreements with the Baker Heights and Bedington volunteer fire departments to help improve response times for weekday calls within the last several months.

The agreements now in place leave only the Back Creek Valley and Hedgesville volunteer fire companies without paid staff in the county.

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— Matthew Umstead

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