By Bobby Bordelon
Changes to the county policy detailing how to handle the approximately 1,100 wrecker requests through the Greenbrier County 911 Center will soon be considered by the Greenbrier County Commission.
The policy, which is required to be updated every three years in West Virginia State Code, was first approved in 2017. However, due to ongoing discussions with towers, 911 Director Mike Honaker set out to revise the policy before the required deadline. In a draft letter, Honaker lays out the policy changes as they currently exist; the Greenbrier County Commission however can alter these changes and will decide if they are ratified:
• “The Greenbrier County 911 Center maintains a separate listing of services for ‘towing and recovery calls’ and ‘service calls’ … The intent of separating these types of calls is to prevent a minor service call from taking the place of an actual towing and recovery call in the rotational listing. A towing and recovery service that provides traditional wrecker services is not required to provide ‘service calls.'”
• “Towing and recovery services shall not ‘vet or screen calls’ when called upon by the Greenbrier County 911 Center.”
• “In the event the Greenbrier County 911 Center requests the services of a towing and recovery service, and those services are subsequently canceled, the canceled towing and recovery service will remain at the top of the wrecker list.”
• “An ‘owner’s requests’ for a specific towing and recovery service facilitated by the Greenbrier County 911 Center shall be considered the towing and recovery service’s ‘turn’ in the rotation on the list of towing and recovery services.”
• “Unattended ‘satellite’ towing and recovery operations will not be permitted [on the rotation list]. All towing and recovery services approved for inclusion on the rotating wrecker list … shall operate an actual place of business, with normal business hours and adequate staffing to facilitate the business’s normal operations.”
• “Towing and recovery services approved for inclusion … shall not respond to the scene of incidents or events without first being summoned to the scene of the incident or event by the Greenbrier County 911 Center. Any towing and recovery service that arrives at the scene of any such incident or event, without first being requested by the Greenbrier County 911 Center, shall lose their next turn in the rotation of towing and recovery services.”
• “All towing and recovery services included on the list of approved towing and recovery services maintained by the Greenbrier County 911 Center shall self-report all ‘out of service’ conditions and circumstances that make the service unavailable for calls.
• “Normal expected response times shall include no more than 35 minutes during normal business hours and not more than 45 minutes after normal business hours and on weekends.”
• “All towing and recovery services … shall disclose all potential conflicts of interests in relation to the towing and recovery services employees/volunteers and their respective affiliations with public safety agencies that may be involved in facilitating the use of wrecker services at incidents and events related to public safety.”
• “While this may not always be possible, due to an emergency or exigent circumstance, it is preferred that a law enforcement official request towing and recovery services when engaged in addressing a public safety incident or event.”
• “A complaint may be filed on behalf of a towing and recovery service, or by an individual who wishes to file a complaint of misconduct or failure to comply with policy by a towing and recovery service. In either event, the form will be submitted to the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. … If the alleged misconduct or failure to comply with policy is alleged against a towing and recovery service or employee of the Greenbrier County 911 Center, the director will further investigate the matter to determine the true facts in the allegation of misconduct or failure to comply with policy [and if correction action is needed and in what form]. … If the alleged misconduct or failure to comply with policy is alleged against a member of a public safety agency by a towing and recovery service, the complaint form will be forwarded to the agency head of the respective public safety agency involved in the matter for whatever investigation or action the agency head deems appropriate and necessary.”
The updated policy will be considered during the Tuesday, November 12, meeting of the Greenbrier County Commission at 10 a.m. in the Greenbrier County Courthouse.