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Several N.C. firefighters quit after town eliminates chief, assistant chief positions

The mayor said the restructuring of the town’s public safety operations is the rationale behind the change

By Sarah Roebuck

STANLEY, N.C. — More than 20 firefighters turned in their gear to the Stanley Fire Department after the town eliminated the positions of the department’s chief and assistant chief, WCNC reports.

On Monday night, the town council consolidated the part-time chief and part-time assistant chief positions. Hours later, the council appointed an interim full-time fire chief to hire a full-time staff.

Throughout the past two days, firefighters have been dropping off their gear at the department. A now-former part-time firefighter said the mass resignations are to show solidarity.

“These two gentleman were not given the opportunity to apply, not considered, just fired, no warning, no heads up,” now-former Firefighter Michael Russell told WCNC.

In a statement, Stanley Mayor Steven Denton explained that the restructuring of the town’s public safety operations is the rationale behind the change. This adjustment has enabled the allocation of funds to employ a full-time chief and a new director of public safety.

Some of the current firefighters on staff were told they have to reapply for their positions, Russel said.

Mutual aid agreements with other fire departments ensure there will be coverage for emergencies, Police Chief and now-Public Safety Director Derek Summey said.

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