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Wandering Around Washington: Staffing issues pause plans for Green Cove rescue services

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Green Cove

The Virginia Creeper Trail at Green Cove. Plan to establish emergency fire and rescue services at Green Cove are on hold for now.

Joe Tennis

Joe Tennis

The green light at Green Cove is still red.

But it could soon move to a green — if all goes well this spring and summer.

You see, Washington County’s plan to establish a fire and rescue service at Green Cove, Virginia, remains on hold, after about three years of planning, due to structural and staff issues.

This emergency services center was born when Washington County leaders sensed a need to become independent — or, at least, more self-sufficient — instead of relying on calls being answered by the Mount Rogers Fire Department and Rescue Squad in neighboring Grayson County, Virginia.

So they built their own station. And county officials made a deal with Damascus rescue personnel to staff it.

But after a couple of years, while still in planning, that staffing strategy is now kaput, said Theresa Kingsley-Varble, the county’s director of emergency management.

All of this now means the opening of the facility has been delayed from May to July, she said.

“They are up there today installing a water softener and purifier,” Kingsley-Varble said last week.

A crack in the concrete was also found that the contractor “is addressing,” said Kingsley-Varble.

At present, Kingsley-Varble is in the midst of creating an emergency management agency for the county. She is looking to hire personnel to staff the station near the Virginia Creeper Trail in the county’s southeastern corner.

The new opening date is July 21.

In the meantime, folks in that Green Cove area can rely on Damascus or Mount Rogers fire and rescue departments to answer calls.

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