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Volunteers oppose proposed Franklin County Fire-EMS Station

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Members of volunteer fire departments across Franklin County are speaking out against a proposed plan to build a new Fire and EMS station in the Glade Hill area.

“We don’t support this station the way it is designed and proposed,” Franklin County Volunteer Fire Association President Morris Ledbetter said.

The association does not want to see the county spend millions to transform the land the county has already purchased at the intersection of Turtle Hill Road and Old Franklin Turnpike into a combination Fire and EMS station.

“The proposed project has largely ignored the needs of Glade Hill Volunteer Fire Department while being presented to the community and board of supervisors under the guise of supporting the volunteers,” Ledbetter said.

According to Ledbetter, the new station would not house all Glade Hill’s equipment and describes it as an EMS station with just one fire truck.

This discussion comes after a heated meeting back in June where board members sat divided on the proposal.

The association said they do want to see improvements in Glade Hill, but they do not want the board to forget about the other volunteers.

“An estimate of $5.2 million into one station kind of takes away funds for other projects that we need as bad if not worse than just this station,” Ledbetter said.

The volunteer stations are about three years behind their fire truck rotation; that means they are in need of upgraded equipment across the county, according to Ledbetter.

The board of supervisors addressed those concerns in a statement saying they are working on a study to “provide a thorough look into the future of the county’s Fire-EMS facility, equipment and operational needs.”

The county’s public safety director has previously said the combination station would better serve the community.

But the volunteers at Tuesday’s meeting said the proposed plans are not the answer.

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