Fire departments comply with County MOU ultimatum

December 15, 2023
Accomack County Administration Building

At its November regular meeting,  the Accomack County Board of Supervisors submitted a memorandum of understanding between the County and several fire departments at which paid Department of Public Service employees work.

The companies involved, Greenbackville, Oak Hall Rescue, Onancock, Painter, Parksley and Tangier all have Department of Public Service staffing paid by the County.  The MOU is intended to supersede and replace the individual Funding Agreements currently in effect with the listed companies.  However the MOU not only covers the financial relationship with the county but also addresses operational and administrative aspects of delivering fire and rescue services to the public from a combined volunteers and paid County staff.  It contains provisions regarding work, living quarters, equipment standards, training levels, response protocol, non-discrimination, incident command, complaint resolution, diversity training and more.  There are 21 regulations that would apply to each fire company that signs the MOU.

The County threatened to withhold funding and remove county paid staff  from any company that failed to sign the agreement by the December 15. 2023 which was taken out of the MOU. DPS director C. Ray Pruitt met with each fire company individually to address their concerns and some changes were made to accomodate concerns.  Pruitt said that discussions with Tangier will take place after Christmas.

The Board received a report during their meeting Thursday night and authorized the execution of all of the agreements.

The text of the MOU can be viewed here.

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