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Callands-Gretna Supervisor Ben Farmer discusses the improvements that many Pittsylvania County volunteer fire and rescue agencies have made in the past several years as funding has increased and the partnership with County Public Safety has improved.
When a Pittsylvania County resident or business-owner calls 911 for any emergency, those responding to your emergency will be volunteers from one of our many community volunteer fire and rescue departments. With increased county funding and involvement in the past several years, we have seen many of our volunteer stations improve their response rates.
The Gretna Volunteer and Rescue station is in the Callands-Gretna District, which I serve. This agency has one of the largest first-due territories in the entire county and has improved its response rate dramatically in the past few years after the fire and rescue departments merged. After struggling to get enough volunteers to respond in years past, volunteers from Gretna Fire and Rescue have responded to 99% of the calls they have been dispatched to since July 2020.
Gretna is not the only example of Pittsylvania County volunteer departments that, despite increased difficulties in finding volunteers who are available to run calls, have dramatically improved their service in the past few years. Smaller agencies like Chatham and Cascade have also rebounded with the help of increased county funding and involvement.
As I wrote previously, Pittsylvania County is not only doing a better job of funding our volunteer stations but working alongside of them to improve service to our residents. Regardless of how it happens or who’s involved, that ability to keep our citizens safe is what matters.