Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Letter: Steve Draper
Sunday, March 9, 2014
I am writing this letter to commend the professionalism of the Martinsville Fire/EMS Department and the city and county volunteer firefighters and EMS providers who fought the fire at the former American Furniture Co. on Aaron Street.
I arrived on the scene about the same time the first responding fire unit arrived. The professionalism and teamwork shown by all the different departments over the next several hours was commendable. I personally want to thank each of the men and women who worked so hard to keep losses to a minimum.
As for Fire Chief Kenneth Draper and Assistant Chief Dan Howell (who served as commander of the command post), I want to express how proud I am of them for operating one of the most professional command posts I have seen in our local area. The professional way they instructed firefighters on the scene is why the loss of property was minimized. Chief Draper was calm and collected through the entire ordeal and Assistant Chief Howell was the key contact for all fire personnel throughout the entire event.
In addition, I want to express my appreciation to Lt. Danny Wimmer of the Martinsville Police Department, who served as commander of the law enforcement side of the event. Lt. Wimmer was forced to not only serve as commander of the fire event but to continue to run his shift of police officers as well. The working relationship between the Martinsville police officers who were so instrumental in closing streets and assisting with evacuations of nearby homes and fire/EMS personnel was second to none.
I also want to recognize the members of my own department who came back out after they had signed off duty for the day to assist the police department in blocking roads and streets.
As a taxpayer for the city of Martinsville, let me express my sincere appreciation to each of you who assisted with this event. It was a very cold and muddy fire scene and I ask citizens to please express their appreciation to these hardworking men and women for a job well done.
Steve Draper, sheriff