This is a good and wise move for several reasons.
First, as Bannertown Chief Scottie Chilton said, this could often mean quicker response times to fire and other emergency alarms. Firefighters already at the station can get the trucks and other equipment rolling, and other volunteers responding to the call can go directly to the site of the emergency, rather than first having to go to the station.
Second, it is a great cost saving measure. Again, quoting the chief, firefighters staying there will be able to better monitor the heating and cooling needs of the station, as well as ensure water and electricity is not wasted while there is no one at the station.
Third, it’s a different and somewhat innovative approach to managing the fire department and its operations. True, having residential firefighters in a volunteer operation is not exactly new — it’s been done elsewhere for decades — but it is new in Surry County. That shows these volunteers who give of their time are also working hard at finding new, better ways to serve the public.
Chances are, if this works out as well as Bannertown officials hope, other fire departments around the county will do the same. And that, to quote Chilton one more time, would truly be a “win-win” for everyone.