NVDAILY.COM | Local News

Posted February 27, 2012 | comments 3 Comments

First fire marshal takes lead

Official working on developing policies while settling into newly created position

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

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.

3 Comments | Leave a comment

    Congratulations Lt Gerry! When I moved here from a much larger southwestern city, I was surprised there was no Fire Marshal. I can't imagine why people here would be opposed to your position-which ultimately will provide a safer environment for everyone. Fires destroy more than property, they destroy lives as we have tragically learned. I for one support you in this new position!!

    I do agree that the county needs a fire marshal. The problem I have is that it was approached the wrong way. The county policy states that any newly created postition within the county shall be posted and advertised, which this position was not. The other problem I have is that the WCFR department head and the newly appointed fire marshall keep saying that it will not cost anything.......which is true for right now but when it was being sold to the BOS, WCFR Chief had in his budget for a full time position starting on July 1 of this year, yet that was never mentioned, just that it will not cost the BOS anything.............if your going to do it, at least do it the correct way. Once again, the Good Ole'Boys at work...................a lot of retired fire marshal(s) from the city living here with a lot more experience.................

      You are entirely correct in your comment...the good ole boys at work in the WCF&R. They told the BOS and the publice what it wanted to hear....it will cost you nothing....but it was never revealed that the budget for 2012-2013 was already submitted to the County Administrator....HIS CO-CONSPIRATOR...to fund the FM position fully with Captain status and a raise....thus leaving one less paid FF/EMT to actually respond to emergencies. So you know he will be back to the BOS to hire more FF/EMT's to cover the actual work load that matters. So what didn't cost you anything for 6 months will now in 2012-2013 cost you...current salary + promotion pay, +vehicle costs + office costs + replacement cost of FF/EMT. What a bargain to have a FM when there are fire stations that cannot respond to emergencies. Only until it is a BOS members emergency that gets unanswered will anything be questioned.

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137