Just spend extra $100,000 for rescue squad

Published 9:43 am Wednesday, August 8, 2012

To the Editor:

Isle of Wight County Newport District Supervisor Buzz Bailey wants us to drop the issue concerning the new rescue squad building. Sorry, Buzz, but I can’t oblige you.

Our Board of Supervisors has a stormy history of failing to actually plan ahead. Buildings are built without extra storage room; schools are built so that when they open they’re already overcrowded.

Once again, despite a perfectly good design and plan ready to go, this board wants to cut corners and create problems that can be prevented right this very second.

Apparently, the board’s position is that our county will never again be impacted by a tornado, or a hurricane. Even the famous Dr. Duane Harding can’t guarantee that we will never again experience flooding conditions like what Franklin saw in the last 10 years.

But by gutting the new rescue squad design, lives will be impacted. Under the guise of saving a measly $100,000, the plan is to build a new squad building that will lack a full-size kitchen. This is not to mention the fact that without a brick facing on the building, it will cost more to maintain besides being a quite ugly design.

Perhaps the board’s intention is to reduce our emergency medical technician volunteers to something like a closet equipped with a microwave and a TV dinner. I don’t know about you, but I prefer a building that is more than adequate to not only serve future generations, but also the entire squad’s staff in the event of natural disasters.

Do you really expect our EMT service to stay home during a crisis huddled under their blankets? Who then evacuates the wounded?

I very much favor a squad building that can take care of all 100-plus volunteers at once at the drop of a hat. A building that doesn’t throw its shortcomings in the faces of those who save lives at a time when every critical resource is needed.

And of course, I want a building that the EMTs can be proud of, not one that they constantly have to put a coat of paint on, as is the case with an inefficient cinderblock exterior.

Why can’t this county’s leadership ever get something right from the outset? Just as you can’t treat major trauma with a band-aid, you can’t provide a 21st century medical agency and then take away what they need the most.

Is it really going to break the bank to spend $5.4 million versus $5.3 million? When we’re blowing $24 million on a barely-needed school, is $100,000 really going to make a hill of beans difference?

Dave Lyons