ACCOMAC, Va. (WVEC) -- The Accomack County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted on Wednesday to dissolve Onley Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company.
The 9-0 vote came after a recommendation by the Accomack County Fire and Rescue Committee.
County Administrator Mike Mason told 13News Now the committee is made up of representatives from all the volunteer fire/and or rescue companies in Accomack County. Members, therefore, are peers of the people at Onley.
The committee submitted its report to the board of supervisors in June. The committee's recommendation to dissolve came after a 12-3 vote.
A presentation Wednesday summarized the report.
The committee found, in part, that Onley Volunteer Fire & Rescue had not provided ambulance services since March 16 and that it had not provided fire suppression services since February 3.
Fewer than 20 people serve in the company which has no equipment licensed by the Virginia Department of Emergency Medical Services.
Accomack County Director of Public Safety Charles Pruitt said that Onancock Volunteer Fire Department has been handling 95 percent of Onley's calls. Onancock and other fire companies are meeting the county's standard of response time of less than 20 minutes.
The volunteer company has had many issues during the past several years. Those include a treasurer who stole money from Onley and a member of the company who was convicted of arson.
Royal Governor, Onley Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company's new president, Royal Governor, told 13News Now he asked supervisors for more time to turn the company around, requesting at least a year to do it. Governor told the board in the time he has been president, the company has made progress.
He said that Onley needed its own fire protection.
Accomack County Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Crockett read a statement before making the motion to dissolve the company.
Harrison Phillips, the supervisor for District 5, told 13News Now that despite the fact that the county gave Onley Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company approximately $250,000 of fire tax money during the course of the past two years it did not have equipment to go on EMS or fire calls.
Phillips wrote in an email:
I cannot justify continuing to dole out taxpayers' money to a non-performing station especially when there are 3 other capable stations in very close proximity to Onley.
Crockett explained that under state law the board of supervisors has the right to dissolve volunteer fire and rescue companies.
The resolution to dissolve directed the fire company "to conduct all acts necessary to fully, expeditiously wind up its business and affairs."