The Prince William County Fire Department seems to be in turmoil. The top three volunteer officers in the Coles station, which handles much of rural Prince William, resigned suddenly in August. PotomacLocal.com reported Tuesday that Fire Chief Kevin McGee is assembling a special task force to review “internal organizational issues” at the Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad station.
And then there’s this: Dumfries rescue Chief Charles Ester formally ordered his paramedics to stay away from JoJo’s Original Soft Serve ice cream shop in Dumfries while in uniform, InsideNova.com reported recently. This is because the owner of JoJo’s, a former Dumfries cop named Joseph Ruhren, is facing trial on 12 felony counts of sexually abusing a young boy for five years starting in 1996.
Now, one could see some logic in wanting to disassociate the proud uniform of the Dumfries-Triangle Rescue Squad from an alleged serial child molester. But there is also a little thing called Freedom of Ice Cream, which I believe is somewhere in the Bill of Rights. So those particularly determined to eat at JoJo’s may do so only when off duty, and not in an official Dumfries vehicle, Chief Ester decreed.
To complicate matters further, Dumfries has a fire station separate from its rescue station, unlike the other combined stations in Prince William. And the Dumfries fire officials told PotomacLocal that they did not have a policy against eating at JoJo’s. For whatever that implies.
County fire Chief McGee said he will sort these things out with the task force, but not in just one meeting. Where one can eat ice cream, and how to run a combination career-volunteer fire and rescue department, can be complicated.