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Equipment, Staffing Issues Shut Down Fire Department

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A West Virginia fire department has been temporarily shut down over outdated equipment and inadequate staffing.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports state Fire Marshal spokesman Tim Rock says the Northfork Volunteer Fire Department voluntarily closed earlier this month following an investigation. Rock says the department has 180 days to correct the violations.

Northfork Mayor Carol Sizemore says officials are working to bring the department up to standard, and limited EMT services are still running. The town of less than 500 will be serviced by neighboring volunteer fire departments in the meantime.

McDowell County Commissioner Michael Brooks called the closure "unreal," emphasizing the sense of security volunteer fire departments bring, as well as their potential to save million in personal property expenses. He attributed the problems to funding more than manpower.

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