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"Moving Out So That Others Can Move Up…"

THE PULASKI TOWNSHIP (Michigan) BOARD voted 3-2 Monday to dismiss their Fire Chief Ken Watson.  MLive reports:

Board Supervisor Robert Jones said Watson, who had been the fire chief since 2002, was let go because he failed to perform his duties as a fire chief.

Watson could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

"There was [sic] things we needed to get done, and we couldn’t get him to get it done," Jones said. "He never asked for help to get the job done." Jones would not specify what those duties were.

Watson will be replaced by Dan Riley, who has been with the department for nine years. Jones said Riley will be the interim fire chief and the board will evaluate him during the next six months.

"We’re hoping he gets the fire department back in shape," Jones said. "We hope he can recruit men to join the department."

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GREENWOOD, INDIANA, FIRE CHIEF James Sipes got off a little easier Monday when he was informed that he is suspended for five days without pay.  His offense was by swearing in new firefighters after he had been told that he was not allowed to do that.

The Indianapolis Star reports:

Chief James Sipes ignored the advice of city attorney and issued the oath of office to four new firefighters, Myers wrote in a letter advising Sipes of his suspension. City Attorney Shawna Koons told Sipes on May 31 that he was not authorized to swear in new employees, Myers wrote.

"She also recited the law to you from her law books," Myers wrote. "After being advised of such, you swore in four new firefighters. You also swore in numerous other personnel into various positions."

In a written response, Sipes said this had been standard practice.

IN WEST GARDINER, MAINE, THE SAGA of the in again, out again fire chief continues with Fire Chief Vicki Dill now back in again.

You may recall the Firegeezer article last month HERE about her being elected by the members in 2009 to be the chief, but the Board of Selectmen disregarded the membership and chose to appoint the 3rd-place finisher.  Dill then filed a complaint with the state claiming that she had been rejected because she is a female.

Vicki Dill / Kennebec Journal

The state ruled in her favor and ordered the Board to reinstate her which they did this past February with the stipulation that she learn how to drive a firetruck and operate the pump.  Three months later, in May they bounced her again saying that she still could not operate all the equipment.

The Kennebec Journal now tells us that she's been reinstated once again:

The chairman of the board, Gregory Couture, said the selectmen reappointed Dill on May 30 after receiving additional information about her training. Dill said she met with the selectmen, the town attorney and Robert White, a former tow fire chief, on May 29 to discuss her fire truck-driving training.

"I think their decisions were a little hasty at first," Dill said. "And after they were enlightened on my qualifications and just what I'm capable of doing, they reversed their decision and put me back in as chief."

Couture said the selectmen believe Dill is qualified to be chief, but not everyone in the fire department is convinced. Scott Taylor, president of the West Gardiner Firemen's Association, said he and about 10 other firefighters in the 19-member association don't think Dill is qualified.

"She has never shown anybody in the fire department that she can operate a truck," Taylor said. "She had a past chief sign her off that she's qualified to operate the trucks."

Taylor said the town's written qualifications for fire chief are vague, and the town was told it would lose a lawsuit against Dill.

"She's got a better lawyer than the town does, so she's back in," Taylor said. "The selectmen told us to ride out the storm until January."

Firegeezer wonders what they will do if the membership decides to re-elect her instead.

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