West Virginia first responders have voted unanimously to oppose any legislation that would reorganize the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, according to a news report.
The legislation would establish the Cabinet level position of state resiliency officer under the state National Guard. Gov. Jim Justice, in charge of operation the division under the National Guard's authority, said then the move would make the division more effective and efficient.
West Virginia first responders say they are civilians and don't want to be working within a military presence, according to the report.
The National Volunteer Fire Council has come out against the bill as well, in a letter that reads:
"Please accept this letter from the National Volunteer Fire Council as a formal notice of opposition to the proposed enrolled Substitute for Senate Bill 326 addressing the National Guard and its role as it relates to volunteer fire departments. We join the West Virginia State Firemen's Association, along with organizations representing the interests of law enforcement, EMS, and emergency management in opposing the proposed legislation."