New Pittsylvania County public safety coordinator aims to improve fire & EMS departments

Christopher Slemp is the new Public Safety Coordinator for the county. He started the position on November 16. (@CourtnyJodonTV)

PITTSYLVANIA Co., Va. (WSET) -- A new role was created in Pittsylvania County after a study was commissioned about their Public Safety's Fire and EMS system.

Christopher Slemp was named the new Public Safety Coordinator for the county at the end of October. He started the position on November 16.

As Public Safety Coordinator, Slemp will be working closely with the 21 fire departments and five EMS agencies throughout the county.

"Let's move together as one , you know behind the scenes, we're moving together as one," Slemp said.

Moving together as one includes improving response times and making sure each department has the right equipment needed.

He said he was going to be collecting data on how each department is currently preforming and see what they need to serve the public better or what they don't need anymore.

"Fire and EMS is an expensive business , it is not cheap by any means and so we want to stretch the dollar as far as we can stretch it," Slemp said.

Slemp said it is going to be a top priority to look at how the county can improve its current EMS system.

"The biggest thing that I'd like to be able to do in this position over the long haul is take the day-to-day work off administratively off of our volunteers," he said.

Blairs Fire & Rescue Chief Dean Fowler shared he is looking forward to seeing what Slemp can bring to the table.

"I think the greatest thing that I can see with him right now is his intention in working with fire and rescue and keeping a close relationship with the Fire and Rescue Association," Fowler said.

Fowler is also the Pittsylvania County Fire & Rescue Association President.

"I think the county board as well as Chris understands that we've gotta look at some other avenues to fund fire and rescue to cut down on the fundraising so these guys can meet the demands of the training hours that they have to have to provide better services," Fowler said.

Slemp has been busy meeting with fire chiefs and captains since he started his new position, and will continue to do so in the weeks to come.

Fowler said he believes that if Slemp can work with the Pittsylvania County Fire & Rescue Association, there are strong possibilities to make improvements across the county.

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