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 made a quick phone call and found out that the mayor APPOINTED 10 of the old firefighters who never bothered to show up to meetings and were always welcome to and appointed a new chief on top of that told us we could reapply on march 10th?? WTH??? if these old members wanted to come back they were always welcome to and we have never turned any willing firefighter down. The mayor has his buddies and it is horrible that he is trying to do this to the ones that have been DEDICATED and have gone to training and meetings and fire calls... why didnt the older members do that??? they were never forced out!!!!!!
i think theres more to this story
Sarah was the 10 firefighters that the mayor has in now been keeping their training hours up ? If not than they cannot legally be running this fire station. It has to have trained firefighters to run it. If our Mayor was to try this he would be laughed out of the station along with the law. It sounds to me he does not know what he is doing . I venture to say he has made an illeagal move and has no grounds to stand on.
that really is disheartening to hear about, i hope for yall the best n gettin bak in action. Good luck at ur meeting tonite. and keep us posted with wat happens.
that really is disheartening to hear about, i hope for yall the best n gettin bak in action. Good luck at ur meeting tonite. and keep us posted with wat happens.
that really is disheartening to hear about, i hope for yall the best n gettin bak in action. Good luck at ur meeting tonite. and keep us posted with wat happens.
we are back in service!

GREGORY - During a special city council meeting in Gregory Wednesday night, the mayor's action to dismiss 21 volunteer firefighters was overturned and all of them, including the fire chief, were reassigned to their previous positions.

However, there are a few changes in store for the firefighters.

The city council voted that they should have oversight over the department, and the fire chief said they have a long way to go on rebuilding relationships.

Dozens packed the tiny city hall of Gregory to see if the council would overturn the mayor's decision to terminate the whole fire department.

The city attorney had presented her own investigation, while Mayor Victor Lara cited safety concerns and not following proper procedures as the reasons for his actions.

However, he admitted he could have done things differently.

"I think I would have [done things differently], but there is lack of experience...we learn from our mistakes," Lara said.

His mistake was one that hurt a lot of the volunteers; though they're happy the four council members sided with them.

"We screamed, we hugged, people were clapping; I'm really excited, we all are," Volunteer Firefighter Brittany Perkins said.

"We're just happy that it's back the way it was. I don't think we'll ever get a real reason from the mayor why it happened," Volunteer Firefighter Cassie Rosebrock said.

"To know I got everything I worked so hard for back again, and that I'm back with my brothers and sisters and the people I trust," Volunteer Firefighter Jack McCarty said.

Chief Kohner next priority will be restoring the city's faith in the firefighters, along with repairing their relationship with the council and mayor.

"Hopefully, he'll realize he did something wrong and things will come around. I'm wiling to give this is a second chance and him a second chance, as well," Kohner said.

Kohner added that the mayor brought on 5-10 firefighters this past week and they may be allowed to continue as volunteers.

However, Kohner will ask them all to reapply and pass a drug test before they're allowed to work under his direction.

Online Reporter: Lauren Williamson
Wow! That's great news, Sarah. I'm glad cooler heads prevailed and brought this issue to a close.
Great news Sara I hope the brothers and sisters rally around each other and train and work hard together to fix any problems. Now is the time to tighten up ops respond to calls quickly and do the job and stick the mayor's face in it .
Great News Sara, Hope you get the other issues resolved.

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