Over 70% of Texas VFD quits
The Overton firefighters had already voted for a new fire chief when the city council voted in an executive session to hire a different chief
By Leila Merrill
OVERTON, Texas — More than 70% of the Overton Volunteer Fire Department – 10 members – resigned Monday night, CBS19 reported.
Four firefighters continue to be department members, but Esteban Santan, a former firefighter who quit Monday, said that is not enough for the department to function.
A resignation letter read aloud at a meeting explained that the mass quitting was triggered by the city’s decision to hire a new fire chief.
Two weeks ago, the Overton City Council voted in an executive session to hire Mickey Hamilton as the new chief. But the department members had already voted for a chief, Terry Lewis.
"The way we plan on doing it, the fire chief will be hired by the city," Mayor Curtis Gilbert said. "Otherwise, it will be a volunteer fire department. They will choose their own officers, president, secretary, treasurer and other officers. Captains, lieutenants, other officers."
Gilbert said that neighboring departments are available to provide mutual aid.
When firefighters quit en masse
In the era of essential worker recognition, many firefighters may wonder, “Why aren’t we being treated better? And why isn’t anyone listening to us?”