City Kills Rescue Squad Plans

The city is abandoning their plan to establish a rescue squad, Henry Graff reports for NBC 29:

Now, very quietly, we’re told the city is scrapping the plans for its own squads. One source says city ambulances aren’t really needed; another says they cannot be afforded.

Either way, they’re not going to happen, and the money set aside for them will help balance the city’s bottom line.

Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner says CARS is meeting the city’s response time expectations, and a new ambulance at the Monticello Fire Station gives the city adequate coverage. But Mayor Dave Norris says it all comes down to balancing the budget.

By my math, CARS has always been meeting the city’s response time expectations, and given that CARS is already performing this service at zero cost to the city, I can’t see how it ever made sense for Charlottesville to do this. When Council approved this they set aside $750k for it, so that should help with what’s sure to be a tough budget year.

37 Responses to “City Kills Rescue Squad Plans”


  • Belt tightening seems beneficial if only it can keep pruning things that were silly to begin with.

  • Thats the best thing Council has done in ages! Never should have gotten as far as it did in the first place.
    Now they need to scrap some other silly projects, like the YMCA deal, and the Mall re-bricking.

  • rebricking should have gone before the rescue squad. But they may have signed contracts that they can’t get out of for the mall project.

    I hope silly projects can go and they can maintain their employee base and not have to freeze alot of jobs or lay off folks.

  • Bring back professional garbage pickup. BFI is exploiting the city and providing no ladder to the middle class, just an express elevator for execs who stash there money in yachts. Pickeruppers should be city employees.

  • I applaud the efforts of Council so far. During this belt-tightening episode (I hope it will become a way of life), I hope the city re-evaluates the re-bricking project, the McIntire Park project, the softball field – lighting project, the transit authority proposal, and the water supply plan. They all take money out of my pocket. Also, if the school system needs a new central office, they ought use Jefferson School rather than building one at Walker School and a large parking lot. They should also stop using local money on federally-owned housing. They ought to re-evaluate the money they distribute through Healthy Communities allocations.

  • council is on a roll…

    KILL THE BRICKS NOW!!!!

  • You will all be surprised at the bids for the bricks that have come in…

  • Colfer, how about we bring back city employee garbage collection and city vehicle garbage collection. Our taxes used to pay for this service. But now, we pay our taxes and we pay garbage colection fees so the city will have more money to waste. 20 years later, I’m still fuming over a city department head who wanted a nice new pair of leather dress gloves — so he bought his entire department nice new leather dress gloves and called it “part of the uniform” so the city would pay for them all. Never in the history of the department had employees needed or used leather dress gloves. The watse in city spending is sickening.

  • What city department?

    I’m curious??

  • Demo, what is sickening is the end of the middle class and lurch towards a tinpot 3rd world social structure. Watch Bush pull out his epaulets before Jan. 20! Seriously, why should the execs at BFI get yachts and everybody else no job security at the minimal wage they can pay? That is SHORT TERM thinking. Capitalism may be smart, but capitalists are not as often.

  • That would be the capitalists on the yachts that are not smart?

    How is your yacht?

  • @Danpri

    That’s right– the ones on the great big fancy yachts that are about to go over a huge waterfall into a new Great Depression. {grin} How far can we take this metaphor?

  • I just get a laugh when they sweep a dumb idea like this under the rug and then try and spin-it like it’s a “the situation has improved so we no longer need to pursue the matter” kind of thing. Shades of $20-K Christmas Tree.

  • What City Department, I don’t think it’s necessary to name the department or the department head. The department head is long gone (forced to retire) and can no longer throw city money away in this fashion.

  • danpri, that is an interesting comment about brick bids. more on that? will be be surprised by how high or by how low?

  • Way very much lower than expected.

  • If that’s for the 4″ x 12″ size that Halprin originally specified, then that is really interesting!

  • How about the destruction of McIntire Park….YMCA deal, loss of softball fields for retangular fields, bridge from west to east side of park over rr tracks…HUGE junk of city money for these projects…Are these projects also being tabled for the time being….?????
    Someone who will exercise restraint with the taxpayers money needs to run for city council…
    The city employee in question about the Black leather gloves now enjoyes a very hefty monthly retirement from the city and yes he got the GLOVES!!!!!!!!I hope he and the gloves rot in HELL!!!!!!

  • Gloves schmooves. You could buy gloves for the entire city of Charlottesville and not match one yacht-riding garbage executive’s salary. Best to fix the system we had then sell it to to some idiot capitalist in a yacht.

    Meade Park is already undergoing its gilded destruction. The red dirt is up in the big flat field. Rearranging the swimming pools! Better to fix the government then spout off libertarian nonsense.

  • Hurray! This rescue squad plan seemed like the worst idea in ages. I’m so glad to hear this money-saving news. Now if we could just get the YMCA out of our park and into some urban lot that’s already paved or built on.

    Then yes, I’d be happy to spend some tax money on turning McIntire Park into a world-class park that would be a destination worth biking and walking to.

  • Darren, the speeds people drive on the 250 ByPass, you would walk or bike to the park? I wouldn’t. Not to mention the last thing we need on the ByPass is bicycles ignoring every traffic law in the books as usual. Have you ever really taken notice of how the majority of bike riders maneuver around town? Running red lights, cutting in and out of traffic, passing on the right, stopping at crosswalks to become a pedestrian on a bicycle and thinking they suddenly have the right of way. You have about 1.5 to 2 seconds to react before running over them. I would like to see the city police start enforcing the traffic code for bicyclists after they finish their train track enforcement escapade.

  • I would like to see the city police start enforcing the traffic code for bicyclists after they finish their train track enforcement escapade.

    Amen. I’m trying diligently to ride my bike around town when it’s an option, and I obey all traffic laws as if I were a car. Few things are more irritating than when a bicyclist (as happened today) pull up between traffic to get to the head of the line of traffic.

  • My biggest bicycle beef is when they switch between being a vehicle and being a pedestrian: whichever is most advantageous to them at the moment. It drives me insane when it isn’t driving me right over top of some bicyclist that was in the middle of their transition from one to the other…

  • I’d love to see the police crack down on cyclists who don’t obey traffic laws. (It’s especially bad around UVa in the morning.) Those dopes lead to people tarring all cyclists with the same brush. There are lots of cyclists who stop at every traffic light, signal all of their turns, use front and rear lights at night, etc., we just don’t notice them because they’re doing the right thing.

  • That’s it, Jim. And once the traffic light turns green, all the motorists the bike has gone around to get to the front of the line has to manuever around him/her again, hopefully without running over him/her. On another occasion a bicyclist was coming down the hill there by the tennis courts just before Emmett Street. As you probably know, the vehicles are almost against the curb there already if you are turning right. The cyclist was trying to squeeze between the curb and the cars. He failed, hit the curb, and went face down on the sidewalk (Sadly enough, it WAS pretty comical to wach). I got out and figured the kid was knocked out or dead, he had been running 15 to 20 mph when he went down. But he got up, took off again, and I caught up to him about 30 seconds later once I was through the red traffic light. He was now swerving in and out of traffic trying to work his way to the front of the line at the next traffic light.

  • Waldo, I was born and raised in Charlottesville. I have been driving for 40 years. I do not recall ever seeing one person on a bicycle paying any attention to the traffic laws whatsoever, not one. There may be some out there, but I have never had the pleasure of observing one.

  • I do not recall ever seeing one person on a bicycle paying any attention to the traffic laws whatsoever, not one.

    Then you’re not looking very closely. :) They’re everywhere! I’ll give you a guide: they’re the people with helmets, lights, and a pump, often with clipless pedals. But like I said, they don’t stand out because they’re doing precisely what they’re supposed to be doing.

  • You can bicycle straight to McIntire Park from Rugby Avenue of course, and there is a pretty good trail to Melbourne Rd. alongside CHS, but that trail is dirt, not paved. There are other foot trails leading up to the fire station, but I don’t know if they connect to anything.

    Maybe there was a plan to tunnel from Greenleaf Park to the fire station? Drain pipe trail?

    McIntire Park could be all kinds of things without the golf course, but of course there would be four lanes of cars on an expressway. The prettiest unwooded part is along the creek and old walls below MACA. The part that will be paved. A truck trail connects that area to the back softball diamonds, via a few golf holes.

  • Alas, the 50% savings appear to have been in the ether of procurement, and while the bids are coming in low, they are not at 50%.

    But MMM was setting up a small demo area by Order From Horder for the BAR today replete with trash and recycling, lights,pavers, blocks etc

  • What city department?

    I didn’t ask for the department head’s name, just what department. What’s the big secret? You threw it out there Demo, back it up……

  • I just worry about opening the car door when parked on the side of street and having someone run into it. Almost happened the other day. I’m saying the onus is on me! Don’t forget to look!

    P.S. – I wonder if my insurace would cover that? Maybe I need a special “rider”. Get it? Rider? Like a rider for a bike rider?

  • I don’t need to back it up. If you read above, Jogger has confirmed that the tale is true. The department head is past history and not even worth mention, IMHO.

  • I wouldn’t call a post by another user a confirmation, it could simply be a rumor repeated again and again.

    If its past history and not even worth mention, why did you bring it up in the first place? What’s the harm in mentioning the department?

  • I think slavery is also past history, long before my time, but I don’t need to list every plantation that held slaves against their will. It serves no purpose in the grand scheme of things. I doubt it was a rumor. Jogger seemed pretty emphatic in recalling the event when he mentioned the purchaser “rotting in hell!” Personally, I think that’s a step or two above confirmation and/or rumor. Why did I bring it up in the first place? Well, two reasons – – 1) I can, and 2) to show just one example of wasteful self serving spending within the city.

  • Talk about saving money, let’s hope they re-visit the water plan.

  • @Demopublican

    “Jogger seemed pretty emphatic in recalling the event when he mentioned the purchaser “rotting in hell!” Personally, I think that’s a step or two above confirmation and/or rumor.”

    No. It’s quite obviously not.

    “Why did I bring it up in the first place? Well, […] to show just one example of wasteful self serving spending within the city.”

    But you didn’t. Not until you provide evidence or at the very least a complete story. All we have so far is an anonymous accusation of an unknown party seconded by another anonymous party. I’m the last person who would suggest that the City government is as efficient as ought be, but your “example” is a bit silly unless and until you complete it.

  • Speaking of the failed rescue squad proposal, not only will this $750k will not be spent this year, the city will also save money in future years by not having to hire, uniform and train, maintain vehicles, create a billing system, pay new staff salaries and benefits, which translates into millions annually. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of cost-cutting.

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