ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The Onley Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company is fighting to stick around after the county voted to dissolve the department.
The Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday night on the action after the Accomack County Fire and Rescue Commission voted to recommend to dissolve the company in June.
“We did not enjoy it last night. It was painful for us but we saw it. We saw the information, we saw the facts, and there was no other decision to be made,” said Robert Crockett, the chair of the board.
Crockett says the Fire and Rescue Commission presented them with data on the Onley Volunteer Fire Department, which lead to their unanimous decision.
“Since February, the Onley Fire Company has had no fire apparatus. Since March, they’ve responded to no EMS calls,” he said.
Crockett also says there were a number of emergency calls put out to Onley in the spring, but the company only responded to a couple of them.
The company’s president, Royal Governor, says they’ve had issues with registering vehicles, the lack of an Operational Medical Director for medical services, and other equipment problems that caused the lack of service.
Governor says he asked for more time to get things in order.
“A year to the furthest. You think they’d give us a chance, especially with a new chief,” he said.
Governor says their newest chief started this month and they were trying to move forward in a positive direction.
Past issues plagued the company, including the conviction of former treasurer James Morris.
Morris was found guilty of embezzling around $100,000 in 2014.
Governor believes this also led the county to vote to dissolve the company.
“We don’t want our past to determine our future,” he said.
Crockett says the issues plaguing the department already caused its downward spiral.
“The fact that we voted on it last night and made it official but for all intents and purposes, the Onley Fire Company dissolved on its own,” Crockett said.
Governor says he’s planning to fight to keep it open for the residents, businesses, and schools in the area and has contacted lawyers.
“It will probably be lengthy and expensive but hey, it’s worth fighting,” Governor said.