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
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!
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