INWOOD, W.Va. — The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Volunteer Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services is scheduled to hold its final listening tour session Friday evening in Summersville.
The meeting, set to begin at 6 p.m. at the armory in Summersville, will be the sixth session the committee has held in the last two weeks.
State Senator Greg Boso said the committee’s goal has been to connect citizens with members of the committee to hear concerns and discuss potential solutions relating to issues that face the volunteer fire department and emergency medical services community.
At a listening session earlier this week in Inwood, Boso led a discussion about recruiting, funding and the health of volunteers. The committee also took questions on workers’ compensation, training and retirement packages.
Boso said the method of retaining newer recruits is something that departments around the state want to look into.
“We’re trying to figure out how to get people involved, engaged, and get them to want to serve in their local community,” Boso said.
Director of the Berkeley County Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Eddie Gochenour attended the session and asked about the state code that does not allow counties to establish fire departments.
“You know, they have a volunteer fire department and they have municipal fire departments but there’s no language within the code that allows a county to start and organize a fire department,” said Gochenour.
Boso said the feedback at the sessions held around the state have been positive. About 45 people were in attendance at the South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Department’s main station Wednesday evening.
WEPM report Elias McMillian contributed this report.