Official working on developing policies while settling into newly created position
By Kim Walter -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- More than a month after being appointed as Warren County's first fire marshal, Lt. Gerry Maiatico, says "the position is going very well."
Controversy surrounded the creation of the position, which became official at the Dec. 20 Board of Supervisors meeting. At least a dozen residents spoke, both for and against the position, and the final vote was split 3-2.
Maiatico is still in the preliminary stages of the position, and said he's currently working with the state fire marshal's office to transfer responsibility to his position. For the next five months, he says he will continue to develop policies and procedures, and there will be no cost increase to the current budget during that time.
Warren County Fire and Rescue Services has 13 services and programs, he said.
"Now, this position will be dedicated to enhancing them," said Maiatico.
The newly appointed fire marshal believes that one of the strongest services is the fire prevention program, calling it "one of the best in the valley." He hopes the position will enhance that as well through education.
Maiatico says he's reached out to government officials from the town and county to address any concerns with the position, but all local leaders are invited to the program.
"We want do what's best for our community," he said.
The fire marshal is responsible for enforcing provisions of the statewide fire prevention code, something that was done by the state fire marshal in the past. Maiatico said it's important that Warren County have their own fire marshal, because "we know what our needs are ... you can't compare Warren with other counties."
"This is intended to affect the community in a positive way, whether it's by increasing education for kids, enhancing alarm systems or just increasing inspections," Maiatico said.