Gregory Mayor Fires Entire Volunteer Fire Department






GREGORY - The mayor of Gregory has dissolved the volunteer fire department as of Thursday night.
Gregory volunteer firefighters found out Thursday night that their services were no longer needed, leaving the residents of Gregory without any help if their homes catch fire.
During a training session at the Gregory Volunteer Fire Department Thursday night, members said the mayor and chief of police showed up to break the news that they were all fired and new people were being brought in.
"I asked him outright, 'what's your reasoning behind this?' and he wouldn't even look me in the eye," Gregory Volunteer Fire Department's Cassie Rosebrock said.
The members of the department said they still don't have a solid answer from the mayor or the city.
"To tell us that we are not needed and that we haven't helped at all, it's not right to any of us because we spend so many hours just trying to help," Sarah Warn, a volunteer firefighter, said.
"As being mayor, you are the voice of this city but you are not the dictator of this city. If you take an action, you need to have the backing of the city and in this event, I was told by three city council members they are not backing this," Michael Kohner, a volunteer firefighter, said.
The firefighters said they train mostly on their own time and rely on donations and fundraisers to make money for the volunteer fire department.
"We do it because we love it and we want to help people," Rosebrock said.
In all, 21 members were released from their duties.
The group claimed the mayor told them a former member of the volunteer fire department, Richard Lyons, will be brought in as chief.
In the meantime, the now former firefighters hope the surrounding fire departments will step in to help.
KRIS 6 News tried to reach Gregory Mayor Victor Lara but he has not returned any calls.
In addition, the next city council meeting is March 3 and the members of the volunteer fire department said they plan to be there to find out why the mayor and the city decided they were not needed.
Online Reporter: Jennifer Bordelon

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29434893#storyContinued

http://www.kristv.com/global/story.asp?s=9920029


the comment I wrote on the news site was this...

I love the community of gregory and the firefighters I work with. WE are NOT going to go down without a fight. The whole department the "real" and "dedicated" firefighters of gregory are going to stand up agaisnt the digracefulness of the mayor and the choices he made to our beloved fire department.
We have never called ourselves heros and we are not payed for what we do. We spend our own money being volunteers and countless hours on getting the station and the trucks in order. We also train every week and go to training outside of the department. The mayor out steped his boundries and the fire department needs justice for what horrible things that have happened this Thursday. We all brought something to the fire deparment that made it a wonderful department. I am proud to be a firefighter and to be working with such dedicated and great people. We are all normal people who give our time to help others and an amazing community; who we hope come help us at this next meeting.. Please be there to support our fire department!





Please help spread the word and any ides to help, feel free to comment!

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So how and why did "Former member" Richard Lyons win over the politicians?
Sarah has written a great letter and made a great point. In these hard times i must say that this is one of many towns and cities i know that have threatened or have done away with all career or volunteer services. I can only hope that people stand up and voice there opostions to these drastic ridiculous cuts. We all need to pitch in and help but cutting emergency workers totally is just way to drastic a cut. Why would any citizen of any town or city want to completely do away with fire and police protection?
Im with Barry. How does a mayor "fire" a volunteer fire company. I could see one cancelling the town's contract with the fire company for fire protection but not to fire individuals. How does that work?
we are looking into it all now, the city attorney is looking into how this was done.. but the laws that we have gotten a hold of so far ... all point to something he did unlawfully! we have a meeting next week with the city council, since he did this without the city council approval. we have had 2 calls since this happened one which was a semi that rolled over and the other was another mva. it took quite a longer response time since there is no gregory volunteer fire department. whenever it happpend on thursday night the mayor came with the police chief and pd officer and told us that our services were no longer needed and to leave our pagers and radios and gear and get out of the station, that same night they changed all the locks on the doors and the code to get into the station.
From Wikipedia:

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city (Gregory) has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.7 km²), all of it land. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,318 people, 658 households, and 561 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,636.8 people per square mile.

I find it impossible to believe that the mayor woke up Thursday morning and the idea occurred to him: "Hey, I think I'll fire the volunteers." We need the whole story.
well all I know is that when he did this, he would not give us a reason.. I do know he does not like the fire chief at all but this does go against the city laws and our fire department bi laws
On Thursday, February 27th at approximately 7:00 pm, Mayor Victor Lara rid the City of Gregory of it's only source of Fire Protection. Lara walked into the Gregory Fire Department and had the Gregory Police Chief order the department to return all equipment and remove ourselves from the premises. He was not able to provide any reason as to why he was disbanding the department. We think that it is more that he had no reason, then that he didn't want to tell us.
















He couldn't speak for himself, nor could he look any member of the fire department in the eyes. Whenever he was asked a question, he rolled his eyes, looked around, and refused to open his mouth. He would not give us any reason for this being done and the way it was done. He is breaking his own rules that were placed IN WRITING in the By-Laws.
















The By-Laws state that "any member between the ages of 18 and 55 may apply for membership to the department". He has appointed a 57 year old man, who is not a member of the department, to become Chief. That breaks 2 rules in itself. The By-Laws and City Ordinance state "The Fire Chief is a position that is to be voted on by a 2/3 vote by the department". The Mayor appointed a man into that position. That position is not an appointed position. He also elected about 3 men to enter the department. The By-Laws also states that in order to gain membership into the department, you can apply and then be VOTED in, not APPOINTED. These are all By-Laws that he is aware, but is going against.
Wow all I can say is good luck Sarah!!! The town needs you there. Keep us updated on how things turn out. Have you checked into having him removed from office for "public endangerment" Might want to give your state atty. or even the state fire marshall a heads up. One other I would sure as hell call is the city's insurance company. Bet the council would take some drastic steps if they find out there insurance for propertyis going to sky rocket for lack of fire protection.
not meaning offense against Sarah, but it sounds like somethings missing from this... doesnt really seem to make sense
So relations between the mayor and the fire department had, up until Thursday, been ideal? No recent fights or disagreements between the mayor and the fire chief?
i am giving the information that I have.. Down to the point he broke the laws of the city and of the fire department... just because he has a problem with the fire chief, he doesnt have the right to take him out and especially not the WHOLE fire department
It seems the mayor doesnt know a good thing. He will find out, you dont know what you have until its gone. Unfortunately it may become evident at a huge expense to someone else!!

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