Merger discussions continue

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Discussions on the merge between the Kenbridge Emergency Squad (KES) and Victoria Fire and Rescue (VFR) continue, according to VFR Chief Rodney Newton.

Newton, who also serves as Victoria Town Manager, said the appropriate paperwork is still being gathered and signed.

“Right now, there isn’t a whole lot more to update,” Newton said. “(We’re still working on) the legal paperwork that’s having to be drawn up now.”

Before the agreement to merge was agreed to, KES had been struggling to answer calls and operate.

During last week’s Victoria Town Council meeting, according to draft minutes, H. Chris Garrett, an assistant fire chief with VFR, said the agency “is prepared (for the merger) and that there will be no differences in care and no added expenses to either the town or the county.”

The primary cause of the struggle, members of the KES said during a public meeting on Feb. 16, was a lack of volunteers and funding.

During the February meeting between members of the KES and the board of supervisors, the board voted 4-2 to allow the KES to merge with VFR following a heated round-table discussion.

Along with VFR, Kenbridge Volunteer Fire Department had also agreed to merge and assist KES.

VFR will assist KES on their response for calls but will allow the squad to operate out of its current building.

“I would prefer not to right now,” Newton said in response to being asked to comment on his thoughts on the merge.

Newton said there is no official date set for the merge.