Bradley-Prosperity VFD: Non-Firefighting member made wrong decis - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Bradley-Prosperity VFD: Non-Firefighting member made wrong decision

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BRADLEY -

59News has discovered new details into a fire that happened over the weekend in Bradley.

Neighbors said they were upset when Bradley-Prosperity Volunteer Fire Department did not show up because they were playing bingo.

BPVFD Public Information Officer Bobby Palmer said they were playing bingo but the reason they didn't respond is because they did not have enough trained, certified fighters available.

59 News has learned more details from a press conference by the Bradley-Prosperity Volunteer Fire Department.

Palmer said seven trained and certified volunteer firefighters were on station when the alarm was received.

They were playing Bingo at the time but according to officials, the non-firefighting member made a wrong call, not to send mutual aid and was reprimanded.

That's according to the Bradley Assistant Fire Chief.

The full statement reads:

"In reference to the Incident that occurred on 3/24/2013 the following is the statement of the Bradley-Prosperity Volunteer Fire Department:

We will say that on the day in question we had several volunteer firefighters ill as well as volunteer firefighter's families that were ill and included in that was the chief and assistant chief, neither of which were available.

We did in fact have bingo going on at the time and we did have 7 trained & certified volunteer firefighters on station when the alarm was received. A Non-Firefighting member of the department made a wrong decision in that being not to respond on the call and to send mutual aid to handle the call. That member has since been reprimanded for their actions or lack thereof.

We will further say that immediately upon receiving the alarm from 911 we had our mutual aid dispatched. We have standing automatic mutual aid agreements with surrounding fire departments for in cases where we need assistance. Raleigh County 911 has a standing policy that in the event of a structure fire they dispatch 3 fire departments automatically.

The BPVFD does not take pride in not responding to an emergency. This is the first time that the BPVFD has not answered an emergency call. To ensure that it is the last, we are in the process of re-vamping our mutual aid agreements. We have also made some internal changes with the operation of our chain of command after we conducted a Board of Directors Meeting on the night of 3/25/2013, with these changes it is our intent that this or anything like this never occur again."

I will further say, one way that the community can help us is to come themselves and volunteer. We provide all necessary equipment, training and insurance for our volunteers.

If anyone has any questions about what they can do to help the community and become a volunteer they can call (304) 877-3240 Ext. 22 and Speak to Bobby Palmer.

In closing, the Bradley-Prosperity VFD is taking full responsibility for their lack of communication resulting in this terrible incident and is extremely sorry for the events that occurred and we ensure the public that we are taking all of the appropriate steps so that it does not occur in the future,"----- Bobby Palmer, Public Information Officer, Assistant Fire Chief