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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If the mayor can't give a resonable explantion at the next council meeting just tell him your service will be needed when you start the recall petition.
You have a population of 2000 and you are a city???

I am with Joe, where is the real story. There must be some serious turmoil over something, something that happened for the mayor to dislike the department so much that he shut it down...

I have seen Chief's escorted out of the building before but never all the indians as well...

Cough up the straight skinny before any of us are willing to support the cause.
If he has no reason or law to back up what he did I hope there are no fires between now and March 3rd. He may be the one getting arrested by the police chief. Sounds like to me the council needs to have a emergency meeting to get to the bottom of this now. If he has a problem with the fire chief he went about this the wrong way.
There seems to be something missing here. In a situation of this nature I need more info before I jump on the band wagon. Some one needs to man up and tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
Is the fire company owned by the city?
How does the city support the company financially?
Is there a fire tax that goes to the company?
Has the company provided proof of monies spent that was given by the city?
How long has the Mayor been in office?
Was he a previous member possibly with a personal vendetta?
I mean come on there has to be more and the story that you are only telling what you know sounds a little far fetched. Who's hiding things to protect themselves? It just sounds fishy, Unfortunate and sad but definitely fishy!
Me thinks there's way more to this than what is currently being reported....
I'm with a few of the other posters. There has to be more to this, more that you just aren't aware of maybe Sarah?

Am I glad that a petty local politician just doesn't have that sort of power here!
I would like to hear the full story on this like some of the other posters on here. If you are a volunteer company, who owns your firehouse, the fire company or the city? We are a volunteer company and own our own station. Plus does the insurance company in your area know the mayor fired all you? If there is a fire or any other emergency he could be in trouble with them for firing you.
well we dont get anything from the city, we live on donations. the land for the fire deparment was bought and donated by a former fire chief and the station we have was paid for by the VOLUNTEERS, not the city. The mayor has been playing this game with us since our current chief became chief, I dont think they get a long personally and we did get a copy of the CITY laws also yesterday and the city attorney is looking into it. I can always hope for the best at the meeting this next week. Also he did this BEHIND city councils back... so they are ALL pretty mad about it.. On channel three the news talked to the a lady who lived close to the fire station and she was in tears about what happened with us.
This looks to be a very emotional subject. If the volunteer fire company owns all equipment and the the building, how can a government official fire them? On the other hand if there is an administrative issue behind this in which improper records or inadequate training would have lead to them not being up to state mandated minimum training levels, there would be legal requirement for the government to step in and say you can't function due to the liability it would place on the city. That being said, I do not know if either is the case. We see here the posting of a member who has emotional involvement and a news reporter who said in the story they have not been able to get the city's side. While I think on the surface it sounds like a load of political horse manure, I think it best for everyone to keep their emotions under control and wait for the story to be told, you know the media will not let this one go without a fight.
Ya Rob, I watched the video clip to and it seems odd that the mayor has refused all comments to the media. My only question is the mayor says they have mutual aid with surrounding stations, how can it be mutual aid if there is no station in Gregory, whats the legal liability if they respond. I'm not from Texas so I do not know thier laws.
if the mayor had "right" on his side he would be anxious to have the facts motivating his drastic measures exposed as quickly as possible rather than avoiding exposure as seems to eb the case here.
The insurance issues would seem to be very crucial for both the residents and the local government. local district attorney's office and or state attorney general should be contacted for legal action.
This is stupid by so many ways, firing volunteers, come on!

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