Pittsylvania Co. firefighters likely to see an increase in available training

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PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY (WSLS10) - Pittsylvania County's volunteer firefighters will likely have access to more and better training come the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

County supervisors have agreed to put the $160,000 that the county's fire rescue association had left over in last year's budget from unexpended fuel funds towards the association's budget in the upcoming fiscal year so that the association can pay for more firefighter training and hopefully even increase the level of training.

"It's a big relief," said Fire Rescue Association Director Dean Fowler. "We want to offer the best training and the best equipment that we could possibly deliver."

Because of dwindling federal grants over the past few years, the association has had to rely more and more on its own money to pay for training, which means the amount of training has been shrinking.

Michael Neal is chief of the Ringgold Fire Department and says 12 of his volunteers are currently waiting to receive training.

"They can help me pull the hose around outside and this, that, and the other but they cannot enter a burning structure," Chief Neal explained.

Nothing will be final until supervisors adopt the county budget on April 4th, but the county administrator said late this afternoon that its unlikely that supervisors will change their minds about the $160,000.

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