Dear Editor:
There have been some questions on the recent change of the Fire and EMS response areas that we would like to address.
A few months ago, at the unanimous request of all of the members of the Fire Chiefs Association – Cass, BFD, Frost, Shavers Fork, Hillsboro and Marlinton – The West Virginia State Fire Marshal was asked to come and evaluate the fire districts.
The Fire Marshal looked at each department’s number of calls, response times, response mileage, personnel certifications, number of active members, department capabilities and actual drive times.
The Fire Chiefs had no contact with the Fire Marshal during this assessment and were not aware of what the new lines were going to be until the changes had been decided and they were notified of the new areas. The lines of these fire districts were determined by the Fire Marshal’s office and neither Pocahontas County 911, the County Commission, nor the departments themselves can make changes to these areas unless approved by the State Fire Commission.
To alleviate confusion when dispatching fire and EMS units, the Fire and EMS response areas have always been the same. When the fire lines changed, the Pocahontas County EMS Authority voted to have the EMS response lines changed to follow Fire response lines. Dispatching different Fire and EMS agencies to the same address creates too much confusion during an emergency; that possibility played a large part in the decision-making process.
Additionally, the 911 system has eliminated the ability for residents to call their “department of choice” when there is a true emergency.
Legal counsel strongly advised 911 to dispatch the nearest squad, since calling a more distant squad implies that the call is not really an emergency in which time is critical. There have been recent lawsuits in other counties in West Virginia finding 911 to be at fault for not dispatching the closest department to an emergency call, and imposing very large fines.
We hope this explains some changes that citizens have noticed recently. As usual, the main goal of all fire and EMS departments is the best care for all citizens.
Bartow-Frank-Durbin Executive Committee
Janet Ghigo

Dear Editor:
I appreciate the story in the April 28, 2016 Pocahontas Times, “Massachusetts teens help Make Marlinton Shine.”
It is really good to take teens out of their hometown to do a mission in another town.
Often the parks in our hometown get taken for granted and are abused.
To clean up in another town makes teens see things through another’s eyes.
Yes, it does matter that trash is dropped on the ground and grass. It does matter when we carve ugly messages on the park benches and shelters.
I appreciate Lauren [Bennett] rewarding them for their efforts and also demonstrating that a good time is productivity, enjoying nature and most of all, serving God and each other.
The saddest thing to hear is when someone asks, “whatcha doin’?” And the youth answer, “nothing.”
The youth sound so unproductive and despondent.
A happy person is a God-serving, productive person.
Rachel E. Meck-Vance

Dear Editor:
Nimby is an interesting word. Maybe not as interesting as bogo, bit it’s still through provoking. For those of your unfamiliar with nimby, it’s derived from the first letters of the phrase “Not In My Back Yard.”
Some folks interpret nimby literally. That is it pertains to the next door neighbor with a smokin’ wood fired outside water heater or a loud stereo.
Others expand nimby to include the next street over where the dwellings are decaying, the lawns are trashy, and the drug peddlers reside.
Then there is the $5 billion pipeline that might be located a couple hundred yards from backyard.
The first pipeline proposal included the route crossing the northern part of Pocahontas County. Now the route has migrated farther south, like the birds, into a new nimby zone.
I’m gonna lay three tidbits on ya.
First is Psalm 24:1; second is we are all selfish and greedy in one way or other; third, most of us are so shortsighted we can’t see beyond our own noses. This includes the Pinocchios who have a stretch-limo sized proboscis.
Psalm 24:1 states: “The Earth is the Lord’s and all it’s fullness, the world and those that dwell therein.”
Folks, that includes us all.
If you don’t like that scripture, try Matthew 22:37-39: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is lit it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Those are the words of Jesus Christ.
If our sight was well past our own noses – that is far-sighted, or God-sighted, we wouldn’t be suggesting the northern route is better than the southern route as our elected officials have proclaimed.
If we weren’t so selfish and greedy we wouldn’t need 42 inch gas pipelines, fracking, filthy coal-fired power plants and much of the stuff we think we can’t do without in 2016.
Our appetites are so large for comfort, the material world, and having it our way, it’s shameful.
We are so nearsighted we can’t see the Earth is the Lord’s.
I remember as a child being taught to always return something I’d borrowed in as good or better condition than it was when it was loaned to me. That’s not how we operate in the new millennium.
We want what we want and we will do just about anything legal or illegal or moral or immoral to obtain those wants.
As for Pocahontas County receiving little benefit out of the bisecting big ditch, well that’s how life works some times. Life’s not about benefitting materially from all situations. Sometimes we get a zero while other times we receive much out of nothing.
We oughta quit worrying and bickering about all the stupid stuff we think is important!
For me nimby is the entire Earth. Christ says to love your neighbors as yourself. My neighbors are everyone.
We get so high and mighty if we are a Republican, Democrat or Socialist.
Man, we are all in this together!
Whether the pipeline worms its way through the southern route or the norther is immaterial as it’s compared to the whole of God’s Earth.
the Earth that is His and His caretakers (us) are to take care of this huge blessing.
Folks, it’s time to wake up!
It’s time to do a whole lot more giving than talking.
Eternity is a whole lot longer than our ten decades or less we spend on His Earth.
Wake up, neighbors.
Dan Vermilya

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