Wait for the facts before casting aspersions

Late last week we heard word that a member of the Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) had been suspended by the department while an investigation into alleged misconduct was being conducted.

Obviously, members of the department have been tight-lipped as to the matter of the investigation, the party conducting said investigation and the identity of the party being investigated. They did confirm to us the position the volunteer held is an administrative one.

What the MVFC can not afford right now is rampant speculation, so we will not participate in that on our end, and we ask that people do not go around spreading gossip until the matter reaches its conclusion. The MVFC, as its name implies, is a volunteer organization, dependent on caring individuals who are willing to sacrifice their time, effort and safety to help protect the members of this community and our visitors. It is also dependent on fundraising efforts, and that is a tough battle on a day-to-day basis.

It is important that this process plays itself out through the investigative process. For starters, we enjoy the presumption of innocence in this country, and it’s impossible for any individual to reach an informed decision without all the facts being made available to him or her. Also, there is no official word on the nature of the investigation, so only harm can come from assuming.

It is a struggle for these volunteer fire companies to raise the money they need to provide the type of services this community needs without controversy. There is a fear amongst some in our area that these allegations will hamstring these efforts even more.

Regardless of how this plays itself out through the investigative process, it’s important for all of us to remember it is one member being investigated, not the entire department. There are still many dedicated, honest, hard-working volunteers training tirelessly so they can be there when they are most needed. Please keep that in mind, and continue your support.