‘Personal issues’ blind leaders

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

District Five Supervisor Edward Pennington said it best.

“I think it is a shame before God that we have such a difference and we are not able to work together as a people.”

He’s referring to the petty issues that have appeared to have separated the Kenbridge Emergency Squad (KES) and the Kenbridge Fire Department (KFD).

“Personal issues” and petty differences are what kept KES from merging KFD. Instead, KES merged with Victoria Fire and Rescue, a 4-2 decision made by supervisors Thursday.

“This is in-house. You have Kenbridge Fire Department and Kenbridge Rescue Squad and you are separating, and I think that’s pretty sad when you do things like that. You should be able to pull together and work together and work through this thing and swallow your pride. All of you should swallow your pride and be able to come together and work together.”

Pennington is right, and we commend him for his words.

Those involved in the petty personal matters should be ashamed of themselves. It’s because of their “pride” those who live in Kenbridge could suffer — literally — in their hour of medical need.

“Somebody at the table said, ‘My concern is we can’t play together in the sandbox,’” Wanda Morrison said during the meeting. “With that said, my concern is if you merge with Kenbridge Fire and this bickering and concern is already there, what happens when you get that call? If we can’t play now, I don’t know that we’re going to play in an emergency.”

“Bickering” should not be a word used when talking about helping those in medical need in Kenbridge or any other community in the Heart of Virginia.

What example does this set for those who could potentially join any fire department or rescue squad?

Kenbridge Mayor and KVD Second Assistant Chief Emory Hodges responded to Morrison’s comment.

“There’s a reason why the Kenbridge Rescue Squad is not successful and there’s a reason why the Kenbridge Fire Department is so successful; it’s a people issue, the people don’t get along,” Hodges said.

We call on KES and KFD to mature.