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!

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

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i know how these firefighters fell i went thru this in michigan good luck i dont see how it can be done i bet if the mayors house should burn he would think diffrent
I wish you guys luck at the meeting. Fight for what you believe in. It is hard to comment on this without knowing why all 21 were fired.
i wish i knew why ALL of us were fired.. If he didnt like our fire chief why didnt he just ask the chief to leave and not the whole deparment??? another link for everyone is this one
a note from my chief on

The Mayor of the city of Gregory, Fires the entire Volunteer Fire Department.

The GVFD is a self Goverened department that relies on donations and fund raisers and grants to operate. Since my role as chief I have implemented SOP's, Stringent training requirements, Fire ground accountability. Some of the existing members did not agree and left. As chief I felt the obligation to the community and neighboring mutual aid departments to provide a professional service to our customers. Since our call volume has increased. A new mayor took office and older members went to him (he also being a prior member) Fired the entire department to re-implement the old members and old ways, beer and BBQ on training nights. Doing so without city council approval. Help support us by spreading the word of this. It is on the secret list, not yet on but has been submitted.

Thanks....Former Chief Mike Kohner
Well! That would explain it, then. I'd hate to be in the mayor's shoes right about now. Do they impeach mayors in Texas or do they just ride off into the sunset?
They're tarred and feathered then run out on a rail. At least that's what's in the history books. TCSS
You might want to look at this from another direction, With out fire coverage the ISO will revoke the fire rating and your town could lose thier fire insurance, That would be a major law suit against the Mayor and the city..
You might want to check into this angle, The mayor may be escorted out the door when the citizens find out .

Be Safe!
Sound like something we are going through right now. We are funded by the township trustee. We had our elections for officers in Nov. and she didn't like who we voted in for Asst. Chief and said that he was not allowed to run for that position. There was also another firefighter who she didn't like and said that he couldn't run for any position. This prompted 11 out of 20 firefighters to walk away. Now there is a lawsuit being filed and spear headed by a firefighter who left the dept. over 15 yrs. ago. She wanted the Chief's son-in-law to be the Asst. Chief. Now he is. What made me mad about the whole issue is she keeps saying " I had faith that you guys would make the right decision." I didn't know there was a right or wrong decision.
I would talk to an attorney and ponder the below random thoughts...

1. have all the terminated firefighters sign a letter identifying the risk and liability to the community should something happen and they not be afforded fire protection, publish this in the newspaper and let the community know that their safety has been significantly compromised. people who are bullies should NOT be tolerated. stay together, get the community involved and behind you, talk to the elected officials that did not agree with the decision, then talk to the others who did not to see if they can understand the reality of the situation, consider getting rid of those who are not thinking about what's best for the community verses a few who have something to gain from the arrangement as they envisioned...
2. identify who is responsible for this situation and clearly show that he alone, or possibly in conjunction with the mayor, former firefighter who will be serving as chief are liable for anything that goes wrong. they may be protected as government employees but not civilly.
3. have an attorney bind all of their assets, suing them civilly, or at least paying the money to file the suit to ensure that they cannot sell their property, take out a loan or buy a car. you effectively tied their hands until they deal with the situation. ask any of the terminated firefighters if they mind making these individuals feel the burn... I know how they will answer. Sometimes it's important to remember that for every action there is a reaction. If you live by the sword...
4. do your homework and answer some questions such as why was the new chief a "former volunteer". what's really going on here? this just does not make sense to take away fire protection unless you guys are having weekly keg parties at the fire station. Folks need to hear about all the good things that you accomplished and how you all served the community, and a lot of it on your own time.
5. remember who you work for...

TCSS, Mike

Note: I am not an attorney, nor want to give the impression that I know a whole lot about the law but I do listen to what other folks have done, and yes, it's hard ball but this really does not add up. What's the rest of the story here?
That does not make sense why would they do that unless he was going to try and go full time in house. thats just crazy to let them all go.
In my opinion the firefighters should get a petition going to get rid of the mayor. Get your towns people involved. let them know that there fire insurance will go up now because of having no fire protection. The people in that town should get upset. Try and have a few firefighters run for selectmen or for the town council and get rid of the other ones that are there now. Thats my opinion.

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