Pictured, from left, are commissioners Sam Nolte, president Kristie Tenney and Terry Cutright.

Commission appoints Kristie Tenney to firefighters’ committee exploring solutions to countywide manpower issue

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission appointed commission president Kristie Tenney to a committee dedicated to addressing manpower issues within the county fire departments.

The Upshur County Firefighters Association decided to form a committee consisting of two private citizens; two business representatives; and two elected officials, one from the Upshur County Commission and one from the Buckhannon City Council.

This committee was formed in April after the association determined their ongoing manpower issue may not be resolved without a plethora of suggestions from across the county. Fire chiefs from across the county discussed the issues their departments are facing due to lack of manpower.

“Any major fire in our county will require all seven fire departments, and it shouldn’t be like that,” Buckhannon fire chief JB Kimble said. “A lot of people try to tell us to go out and recruit people, but have you tried to hire people lately? You can’t hire people, so how are you going to ask anybody to come and take these classes, when you don’t make any money and you might get a slap on the back every once in a while? You get praise in the community, but you leave your family, leave birthday parties, tear up your clothes, use your own fuel at $5 a gallon now — and you don’t get paid.”

The previous My Buckhannon article discussing the formation of the committee can be found here.

In other Upshur County Commission news, the commission took the following actions:

  • Received correspondence from the Upshur County Firefighters Association requesting a commission appointment to the newly created committee to address multiple critical issues the local fire departments are facing and assist in determining viable solutions. The committee will consist of two (2) private citizens; two (2) business representatives; and, two (2) elected officials, one (1) being from the Upshur County Commission and one (1) being from the Buckhannon City Council. (tabled on 4/21/22)
  • Reviewed, approved and signed a Memorandum of Understanding by and between the Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (UCDHSEM) and the City of Buckhannon pertaining to Emergency Communication assets currently owned and operated by UCDHSEM, located at the Tallmansville Tower Site, and licensed by the City of Buckhannon.  The intention of this memorandum of understanding is to clarify the roles and responsibilities as to the operations and management of these communication assets
  • Approved a Request for Proposals for the Upshur County Former Jail Facility Project: porch rehabilitation project.  All sealed bids must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17, 2022.  Sealed bids will be opened, reviewed and read aloud by the Upshur County Commission at 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, August 18, 2022.
  • Approved Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility volunteers Breann Stanton, Megan L. Posey, Tracy DeBarr and Tori Perkins.
  • Approved correspondence from Rachel Weber requesting an appointment to the Buckhannon-Upshur Parks & Recreation Advisory Board as County Representative. Ms. Weber previously served on the board as a Board of Education Representative and would be filling JJ Ford’s seat as he will be unable to continue serving.  Upon approval, Ms. Weber’s new term will be July 1, 2022- June 30, 2024.
  • Approved a memorandum from Shelia M. Adams, administrative assistant, requesting the reappointment of James B. Kimble to the Upshur County Safe Sites and Structures Ordinance Enforcement Agency/Board as the Fire Chief representative. Upon approval, Mr. Kimble’s term will be July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024.
  • Approved a memorandum from Shelia M. Adams, administrative assistant, requesting the reappointment of Stephen C. Wykoff to the Upshur County Enhanced Emergency Telephone Advisory Board as the OEM representative. Upon approval, Mr. Wykoff’s term will be July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2025.
  • Approved a memorandum from Shelia M. Adams, administrative assistant, requesting the reappointment of Samuel R. Nolte to the Buckhannon-Upshur Airport Authority Board as the county representative. Upon approval, Mr. Nolte’s term will be July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2025.
  • Approved a request from Mitchell Shaw of Upshur County Recreation to use the Upshur County Recreational Park Basketball Court from June 27 – July 27, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the purpose of basketball games. A Certificate of Liability Insurance has been provided.

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