83ºF

Altavista rescue squad shutting down

photo
(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ALTAVISTA (WSLS 10) - The Altavista rescue squad will be closing its doors Friday.

That's according to Campbell County Attorney David Shreve, who says the decision was made after consulting with the rescue squad's board.

Most of the employees and volunteers at the rescue squad only learned it would close Thursday morning.

The county is directing all questions to its Attorney David Shreve, so we asked him when this decision was made and why the department has to close so quickly, but he refused to answer.

For people who live in Altavista, those lingering questions are the hardest thing to deal with.

"I think we deserve an explanation as citizens of this town, we should know why," says Buddy Williams, who's lived in Altavista his whole life.

Williams says the rescue squad has always been there for him.

"I've broken bones and had them come pick me up in town in a matter of minutes and help me. i've brought my kids here, and it's people i trust, people i know from the community," said Williams.

Others, like Christopher Broadhurst, say they very literally owe the department their life.

​"Back in 2007, i was in a major car wreck out there on 29. i was pinned in the car. if it wasn't for them and the rescuers, i wouldn't be here," said Broadhurst.

The rescue squad was founded in Altavista in 1946, and it employs several full-time staff members.

"I have friends that work here that are out of a job now on a two-day notice, and that's ridiculous. to have kids to feed and a family to take care of and bills to pay," said Williams.

Without any explanation, Broadhurst says people in town are left to speculate.

"You hear people rumoring and escalating, but you don't know because campbell county is quiet, the ems squad is not talking, the town is not saying nothing around here," said Broadhurst.

While Shreve hasn't provided those answers, he says people living in Altavista won't have to worry about a drop in service.

Williams says, he doesn't buy it.

"They're talking like they're going to have a vehicle here at the fire department, but what good is a vehicle going to do if someone is not there at all times?" said Williams.

So far, the county has not elaborated on exactly how it plans to meet those demands.

WSLS called both the Altavista Town Manager and the Chair of the Campbell County Board of Supervisors.

Both of them say they had no idea this was coming.

WSLS will work to answer some of those lingering questions and continue to follow this developing story.