Political candidate bashes fire trucks use in chief's funeral
Write-in candidate Rhonda Appelgate said the death of a firefighter should not be more special than any other death
AMES, Iowa — A write-in candidate for council at-large is facing heat from firefighters after posting a video on Facebook ranting about the misuse of emergency vehicles in a fire chief’s funeral procession.
Longtime Colo (Iowa) Volunteer Fire Chief Mark Farren, 58, died Sunday after a three-year battle with cancer. About 700 people from across Iowa gathered to celebrate Chief Farren's life, according to Ames Tribune. Following the service, a procession of fire trucks accompanied his casket to a cemetery.
"He'd do anything for you," Jeff Stensland, a member of the Nevada (Iowa) Fire Department said. "At the drop of a hat, he’d come running and never expected anything for it. What you see today, he would do for somebody, but he would never expect that to happen to him."
Rhonda Appelgate, the write-in candidate from a nearby city of Nevada, Iowa, wrote on Facebook that it was “another example of inappropriate use of our emergency services and vehicles.”
She also said that the death of a firefighter should not be more special than any other death.
"We do not use emergency personnel, or employees, to honor people, and firefighters, police, soldiers, EMS, etc. are just people like all of us," she said. "I am sorry for Mark's family, but I need to address this issue as a potential city representative … I will make sure that our resources are no longer abused."