PITTSYLVANIA, Va. – As the Commonwealth’s largest and most rural county, Pittsylvania volunteer agencies are significantly improving response times.
The county only serves about 60,000 people, but that’s in a 1,000 square mile radius. They have about 20 volunteer fire departments and about 12 rescue crews.
From 2020 to 2021, all agencies improved their response time by an average of 14%. This comes after an increased financial investment and oversight from the Fire and Rescue Commission and the Public Safety Department.
Some agencies saw moderate increases, and others saw drastic turnarounds. The Chatham Rescue Squad jumped from a 25% to an 82% response rate in the past year.
“Just saying, ‘Oh, go wait another five or ten minutes.’ That could be life or death,” Public Relations Manager Caleb Ayers says. “So it is very important not only those response rates are high, but the response time is low as well.”
The increase in response times comes as the county also saw nearly 1,500 more calls.