We have all heard along the lines of, “If you don’t learn from history, you will live it again,” and “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
A look at the King William Board of Supervisors will give a good example of both of these sayings. You only need to follow the evolution of our current fire and EMS saga.
It started when the new county administrator (at that time) hired the current fire chief. The new chief told supervisors he would not need a budget, just his salary.
This did not last long, and history starts to repeat.
The chief discovered he needed a fire vehicle he could use to get to the scene of fires and accidents. Solution: A new county-purchased SUV with all the toys.
Next, he discovered the workload was more than expected. Solution: Hire assistants to help.
Next, he didn’t have enough volunteers to answer calls. Solution: more paid help.
On Jan. 28, I attended the King William Board of Supervisors meeting. The public comment period should have raised questions that demanded answers. King William Volunteer Fire and Rescue was in financial trouble and it seemed to some of those present that it was for sale. Purina offered a building that could house a fire and EMS unit. Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue Chief Curtis Mason Jr. stated he had a check for more than $500,000 to fund and help run King William Volunteer Fire and Rescue and the county would not have to pay a cent. He was told “no.”
The solution was the county paid more than $500,000 for the King William Volunteer Fire and Rescue’s land, building, equipment and to pay off its past debts. Purina’s offer was accepted and both buildings would be staffed. This raises a few questions: How much will it cost to renovate the Purina building? Where is the equipment coming from to fill both locations and at what cost?
The solution always seems to be that there is no problem that cannot be solved with other people’s money. Something to think about: Did the removal of the Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue from making runs in King William create the need for the Purina building and all the extra costs involved?
It must be remembered the new chief was in charge and he failed to come up with a solution for the King William Volunteer Fire and Rescue’s financial problems. During this time, the Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue, with Chief Mason, managed to accumulate more than $500,000, maintain services and offered a solution to the county.
What do you think will happen in the future, based on history? I bet it won’t be “problem solved” unless supervisors decide to go with solutions that seem to work for the Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue.