Roanoke County welcomes 10 former Vinton firefighters

Gainsharing agreement ends, fire services, costs won't change

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County Fire and Rescue welcomed 10 new members Wednesday. All of them are familiar faces.

A pinning ceremony was held to officially welcome the former Vinton firefighters.

The town and the county has had a gainsharing agreement which allowed the two to share fire services. Roanoke County used to pay Vinton for shared services. The deal was initially formed to avoid concerns over annexation.

After nearly two decades, the two reached a new deal July 1 for the career Vinton firefighters to move to the county's payroll.

The new deal is cost-neutral for taxpayers in both locations.

"It's no difference for the citizens and it's not that much difference for county fire and rescue," said Roanoke County Fire Chief Stephen Simon. "I think it's a win-win for the citizens. I think it's a win-win  for the county and the town."

Fire officials said the transition will be seamless since they have all worked together closely.

"Really, the level of services or anything like that is unchanged to the town of Vinton. It's unchanged to the eastern part of Roanoke County. Everything just carries on. Those folks are now just Roanoke County employees instead of the Town of Vinton employees," said Brian Clingenpeel, the community outreach coordinator for Roanoke County Fire and Rescue.

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