Nearly a year after the closing of the Big Wheeling Creek Volunteer Fire Department, the Marshall County Commission on Tuesday voted to distribute the department's assets to other county departments.
The department was completely shut down in June 2011 after failing to provide proof that workers' compensation coverage was being provided for its volunteer firefighters. The department had been out of operation since February 2011, when the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office found via an audit that workers' compensation coverage had not been paid for several months. Providing such benefits is required by the state fire marshal of all volunteer departments.
The department was given a chance to pay for the coverage, and members of the department were asked to attend a hearing with the state fire marshal. No representatives from the Big Wheeling Creek department showed up to that meeting, and members refused to acknowledge all attempts at communication from the West Virginia State Fire Commission. The commission then voted to revoked the department's certification.
Photo by J.W. Johnson Jr.
Assets from the Big Wheeling Creek Volunteer Fire Department will be distributed to other county departments after the Marshall County Commission voted to do so Tuesday.
Commissioner Don Mason said he served on a committee that last week met to determine which departments had the greatest need for the equipment. On Tuesday, Mason and Commissioner Brian Schambach voted to distribute the assets, including vehicles and other equipment, to other agencies in the county. Although they did not say which departments received what items, they did stipulate that an all-terrain vehicle would be given to the Benwood Fire Department, while attachments and other accessories would go to the Moundsville Volunteer Fire Department.
Commissioner Jason "Jake" Padlow was absent from the session. The next meeting of the Marshall County Commission is set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the commission room of the courthouse in Moundsville.