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Reality vs. Spin

To Chief David Raines of the Myrtle Grove Volunteer Fire Department...let me be the first to say this; you're clueless. Who are you kidding? Operating your Spin-Factory under the guise of "the most efficient way to provide fire protection" is a ruse. You don't want to give up your position as chief. You may be qualified, but remember...that isn't YOUR fire district. The same applies to all the volunteer fire corporations within the county. The county commissioners GIVE your department and others like it, the authority to operate via a CONTRACT. You don't just go out an operate autonomously. There are rules and regulations that your department and those like it, must abide by. You're well within your right to voice your opinion regarding this situation, but get your facts straight before you go on record with the media and expound your hateful rhetoric for county fire services.
FACT: VOLUNTEER turnout for both primary and secondary calls within the county is dismally low and falling. The FIREHOUSE reporting software supports that FACTUALLY, unless your volunteer officers are COOKING THE BOOKS. The falsification of volunteer turn-out records is going on within the county. CASTLE HAYNE Volunteer Fire Department is a prime example. They maintain separate tracking data for volunteer turnout and response. Myrtle Grove does the same as well as WRIGHTSBORO VFD. I applaud the volunteer leadership of the FEDERAL POINT Volunteer Fire Department for their ability to see "over-the-horizon" and recognize the benefits to consolidation and central management of County Fire Services. FACTS cannot be argued with. Mr. Raines doesn't explain that each year, the volunteer chiefs get together and collaborate on how to strong-arm the county into giving more money to an inefficient, and antiquated system of cronies, and social-clubs. Then these same chiefs manage to completely ignore the contract deadline of June 30th for having their respective renewal-contracts signed and returned to the county. FACT: In any other business endeavor, when you fail to abide by the contract requirements, or you fail to renew the contract by the expiration date/time, the contract is VOID. In the past, the volunteer chiefs have threatened the county with lawsuits, walkouts, etc when pressure has been put on them to accept the contracts and the requirements within. To have a volunteer chief say that their in it for providing service to the community and then threaten the hand that provides for their abilities to provide those services is just wrong. When you engage in threats, misinformation, lies, and slander, its only natural that everyone should question the motives of those that oppose providing BETTER service.

FACT: The volunteer officers are elected by a popular vote regardless of their training or abilities to function effectively as a leader for their organizations. This is the cronyism and best-friend, whats-in-it-for-me syndrome. This has no room in today's fire service. Training by the volunteers is dismal at best because they don't want to assimilate to the county training system or guidelines. Minimally trained and minimally administered will lead to minimally acceptable service. Suffice to say, the New Hanover County volunteer fire service is barely meeting expectations, if at all. The career firefighters provide a higher quality of service then their volunteer counterparts.

The time has come to either put-up or shut up.
Don't continue the spin; you're all sore because someone in government is finally standing up to the back-woods, cronyism, and backroom politics that is the volunteer fire service. The taxpayers of this county should have the BEST fire-rescue service available. Continuation of the old-way-of-doing-business just isn't good enough anymore. The requirements that the volunteers have to meet today are justified and if you can't meet those requirements, then retire. Just because you've been doing it this way for 50 years doesn't make it right now. Idiocy: The act of doing something over and over again and expecting the same outcome. The volunteer system; as it stands today needs an overhaul. You can continue to volunteer; just not as a CHIEF officer. What's it really about; you? or the service to the community, that by the way, is administered by a government. That government is THE responsible party for providing fire protection to the county taxpayers, business, and visitors. They have the right to do whatever they want and the desire to change the the current system to something that works BETTER. Good for them. Stay the course. The county commissioners, the county manager, county fire services, and county fire administration is doing the RIGHT thing for ALL of the citizens, business owners, and visitors of this great county. Good Luck.

A.G. Jake


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