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18 Mo. firefighters go on strike, cite unfair treatment

Newly appointed Fire Chief Will Pryor said he will replace the firefighters if they do not return to duty immediately

By FireRescue1 Staff

KINLOCH, Mo. — Eighteen firefighters failed to report to duty over the weekend after going on strike.

KMOV reported that the firefighters cited unfair treatment by the fire protection district board after a new fire chief was appointed last week. Will Pryor was appointed after former Chief Darren Smalls was indicted for stealing money from the department.

"Basically it was made very clear that no one would return to work until the board and the situation with the fire chief was resolved," Assistant Chief Tim Rhodus said.

During the meeting, the volunteer firefighters were given the impression that they would be demoted.

"The board made it very clear they do not care what our wishes are, and for the lack of better terms, they were going to demote everyone in the department, Chief Rhodus said.

Neighboring departments will respond to calls while the firefighters are on strike.

Chief Pryor sent a letter to the firefighters Sunday, ordering them to return to work immediately.

"If you don't return to duty immediately, I will take that to mean you have quit the department or you're abandoning your position. I will move forward to replace you because of this," Chief Pryor wrote in the letter.

Chief Rhodus said firefighters hope board members will listen to their complaints during a meeting Thursday.


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