By Rodney Robinson
PRINCE GEORGE, Va — The board of supervisors, fire and EMS officials, school board officials and county administration officials alike met Tuesday night for a work session.
One key topic at the meeting was self-contained breathing apparatus equipment for first responders, fire and EMS. Paul Mauger, fire and EMS interim director, gave a thorough presentation regarding the strain that the lack of new equipment has put on the department.
Following public hearings, Mauger stepped forward. He told a story about a previous officer who came into contact with chemicals present in a tractor-trailer on the highway. Mauger explained that the police officer stopped the tractor-trailer that “had a milky white liquid running out of the rear of the truck,” Mauger explained. The officer “lifted himself up on the door,” Mauger shared, to see what was in the rear of the truck. The officer inhaled the chemicals accidentally for a quick second and the officer’s senses were “overcome by a strong smell and his eyes and his skin began burning.”
“That officer will tell you today that the doctor stated that had we not treated him on the scene, he probably would have died,” Mauger said.
The officer suffered permanent liver damage and suffered from seizures due to the accident. Mauger pleads that the department needs the new equipment to prevent potential situations similar to this.
“Operating without this equipment is comparable to asking our police department to operate without guns, our shops without tools and our communications center to operate without functional towers,” Mauger said in his presentation.
The board of supervisors agreed to move forward with the replacement of Self-Contained Breathing aApparatus (SCBA). The current SCBA will no longer be serviceable as of January of 2021. The project is $1.3 million and requires a public hearing since it is more than 1% of the budget. The meeting is planned for a public hearing on Aug. 11. The board will meet on July 28 at 4 p.m. to discuss financing the project.
Also during the meeting, the board approved other matters. Some key matters that were approved were:
- A budget transfer within CARES coronavirus Relief Fund for school, transferring $10,000 from food supplies to technology hardware.
- An appropriation for School CIP technology hardware in the amount of $328,000.
- Unanimously tabled the adoption of the Prince George County Solar Energy Facility Siting Policy.
- Also, Sergeant Keith S. King received recognition for his service to Prince George County.
The board also heard four public hearings on Tuesday, in which all four cases were unanimously approved. The public hearings included a rezoning request of Skycass Marketing, a request of Craig Owen pursuant to permit a home occupation for the purpose operation a pest control business as a home occupation, a request of Prince George 105 LLC to conditionally rezone from residential agricultural to general business and an AT&T Cellular Site lease extension.
The next meeting for the board of supervisors is scheduled for Aug. 11. at 7 p.m. For more information on the upcoming meetings, visit the board of supervisors’ meeting schedules on their website.