Failure To Account For Spending
THE GARDNER VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT in Gardner, Illinois, is no more after a Grundy County judge ordered them to cease operations. The Gardner Fire Protection District is responsible for providing fire and ems services to a large area and had been contracting fire and ambulance service to the GVFD to cover the town and immediate area.
The now-empty Gardner fire station (WBBM-TV)
The fire protection district provides the funds (collected through taxes) for the VFD to operate but recently the board has been getting stiffed by the volunteers who have been on a credit card spending spree and have refused to furnish the bills and invoices that were paid by the credit card. After many months of conflict and the continued refusal of the FD to account for their spending of (the fire protection district's) funds, the F.P.D. went to the court asking for authority to reclaim their interest in the fire protection responsibility.
Last week the judge ordered the sheriff to seize all the property of the VFD and return it to the FPD. On Monday a moving crew showed up at the firehouse and removed all the property including the emergency vehicles, furnishings, fire equipment, running gear, etc. Everything except the real estate was transferred over to the FPD.
WBBM-TV Ch. 2 Chicago was at the firehouse Monday while the moving operation was underway and filed this video report:
Despite the volunteer's claim that it will now take ten minutes for a fire engine to arrive, the fire protection district had already prepared to maintain coverage in the town by transferring fire apparatus and an ambulance from other areas into a temporary facility set up at the town hall. Many of the Gardner volunteers have been accepted onto the rolls of the district.
There will still have to be a trial in court on the case, but it has not yet been scheduled.
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