‘Strategic meetings’ continue for squad

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Officials with Lunenburg County and the Town of Kenbridge continue to put their heads together to figure out how to best solve the financial and volunteer membership problems with the Kenbridge Emergency Squad (KES).

“Really, the only thing I can tell you right now … is that there’s a strategic planning committee … comprised of Town of Kenbridge and Lunenburg County officials,” said Victoria Town Manager Rodney Newton, who also serves as interim administrator of the KES. “And, over the course of the next week or so, those decisions will be made and something will be put out after then.”

The work to battle the squad’s financial situation and shrinking volunteer base comes as Newton has tendered his resignation as interim administrator as of Feb. 28.

The biggest struggle KES is facing, according to Newton, is the lack of volunteers.

“We have a strong core of volunteers, but we are unable to provide coverage 24 hours a day,” he said.

KES only provides rescue services.

According to Newton, the agency has paid crews on call from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. seven days a week.

“Primarily nights, yes,” he said time period KES struggles to answer calls.

Currently, the squad has about eight volunteers, who are not paid, he said.

KES bills for services and transportation, Newton said, calling it “revenue recovery.”

The squad is “financially struggling, too, because of having to pay so much to provide coverage.”

On the planning committee include County Administrator Tracy Gee, members of the board of supervisors and officials from the Town of Kenbridge.

“It’s 6-8 people on the committee,” Newton said of the group, which has been meeting weekly.

Newton took over as interim administrator in September 2015.

“Just too many other obligations,” he said of his seeking to relinquish the role.

According to Newton, the committee plans on meeting again during the end of the week or early next week.