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King George supervisor asks former fire and rescue volunteers if they'd come back, if changes were made
He said the county has worked hard to unify career staff and volunteers. He wondered how "anything positive" could come out of a questionnaire that asks for someone's dismissal.
"All that does is open old wounds," Brooks said. "I think there's other ways to handle that, but this is the way he chose to do it."
Even though the chairman didn't know about the questionnaire, two other supervisors did.
On the last page of the questionnaire are instructions to send the form to former Sheriff Moose Dobson, who will tally the results and keep the names to himself.
LoBuglio asked him to do the compiling because Dobson "has such integrity that his character couldn't be attacked," he said.
Dobson agreed to help.
"But I didn't want anybody to think I was running behind somebody's back, trying to do something," Dobson said.
The former sheriff goes to church with Supervisor Dale Sisson Jr., so earlier this month, between Sunday school and church, Dobson said he mentioned the questionnaire to Sisson.
Dobson did the same with Supervisor Joe Grzeika when he saw him at a county function, also this month.
In previous discussions about the shortage of fire and rescue workers, LoBuglio has stressed that more emphasis should be placed on recruiting volunteers. He hoped to get an idea of what changes the county could make to bring back more volunteers instead of hiring more people.
Dobson said he received seven responses last week and none so far this week. The biggest complaint dealt with one part of the questionnaire, which asks if volunteers have the same rights as career staff and if they
"They seemed to think they were treated differently from the paid firemen," Dobson said about the results received so far. "The discipline fell solely with the fire chief, and he could dismiss anyone at his own will and pleasure, so to speak."
In 2009, longtime volunteer Pete Sullivan aired a grievance against Chief Moody because the chief dismissed him after 46 years of service. Sullivan appealed the decision to the county administrator, who agreed with Moody.
Sullivan and others have claimed that the fallout from that action caused as many as 23 volunteers to leave the King George system.
LoBuglio said neither Sullivan nor any members of his family, who currently volunteer in Port Royal, were involved in the questionnaire.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425