White Springs is safer than we have been for three years now that we have been rid of the prior Chief and Assistant Chief. God finally answered our prayers and even though Ms. Tebo would do nothing, after she left, we now have the greatest group of volunteers ever.
We do have an equipment problem, however, and I will explain what Chief Pittman had to say later in the article. In the meantime, Chief. Pittman has inputted all the computer information required by Hamilton County, which goes directly to Ocala, and has mentioned that the White Springs Fire Department can comply with the previous contract Hamilton County had before changing it to appease the “No performance done” by Stith so it not only changed for White Springs but Jennings as well. Chief Pittman stated that everything required by the County was submitted on the first day so that the White Springs Volunteers could meet the $30,000 performance contract.
The Council gave Mr. Pittman permission to speak to Henry Land at the County regarding the contract and personally, I hope Chief. Pittman speaks to Mr. Land about our difficulties relating to the Town’s inability to afford repairs to our equipment. At one time, when I spoke to one of the Commissioners, he told me that if White Springs has a problem, we could ask the County for help. And now that Chief Pittman is back, I am certain the County will be elated to work with a real firefighter/chief with a passion to assist us, other departments and Hamilton County.
Last month Chief Pittman reported that there were 12 calls answered with at least three responders answering each call; Three were fire; Five were Medical, Three were Motor Vehicle related and one was for other reasons. The White Springs Volunteer Rescue now is comprised of 22 individuals who are volunteering their time. And we now have four Firefighter II’s and EMT’s.
There was concern from Hamilton County EMS that they could not use the building (Remember when Stith complained that the lights were left on by Hamilton County EMS at the Fire Station?), but Chief Pittman handled the problem. Chief Pittman advised Hamilton County that he wishes the EMT’s to be here and they have full access to the building. He assured the EMS director that it was a miscommunication and that we want them here. The EMS director in turn told Chief Pittman that EMS will help furnish the Fire Station and they will pay 50/50 with the Fire Department for utilities. Chief Pittman hopes that in the future we can have a 24 hour rotation for ambulances. He asked the Town send a letter of Appreciation to the Hamilton County EMS director.
It is so nice that we have a Fire Chief who watches the Town’s bottom line and is not fearful of begging or bartering for equipment which is necessary to assist our Fire Department. He is what a Leader of men is all about. Thank you for returning Chief Pittman.
Remember when former Chief Stith made a video about how messy the Fire Station was left, which most of us knew was a fake production video, well Stith and Greene did far more damage that will be costing our Town a great amount of money.
The Windsor fire engine was sitting in the open by the Water Plant, which apparently Greene drove it there, for a period of 2.5 years. Initially what would have cost approximately $5,000 for the repair of the engine, because of it being in the open environment, it will cost us three times that amount or $15,000 estimated to now repair it.
As far as the fire Engine at the station, it is reliable but the Manufacturer no long makes parts for it, so everything is more expensive if a part needs to be made.In fact Chief Pittman was not afraid to ask Columbia County for parts from their junked engines and with the good graces of the County, he received some parts from Columbia County.
Thanks to Stith and Greene, not only was there a non-performance on their part in the Town not securing any money from the County but because of their negligence, we now have to pay $10,000 more to fix the Windsor Engine since they left it to die in the environment for two and one-half years. Good going Rhett and Stacy for allowing this travesty!
I will list the volunteers on a separate blog site. I am excited to see that even though Detective Brownfield is now in Live Oak that he again has joined our Fire Department. He was one of the greatest Police Officers we ever had and a great contribution to our Fire Department. What an amazing group.
We’ve missed Pittman, Brazil, Brownfield, Meeks Perez, Register, and Shanks as well as all the support staff especially Andrea Thomas. Welcome to the New Volunteers.