CASHION, Okla. (KFOR) - Cashion Interim Fire Chief, Scott Hill says the town's mayor wants to disband the volunteer fire department.
“I told him it's a major disservice to the community in which we serve,” Interim Fire Chief Scott Hill said.
Hill says it started Tuesday when he heard the Cashion mayor had a meeting planned with fire chiefs from four other towns.
“I was not invited to this meeting. I called the mayor and asked if there was a meeting and he told me it was just between him and another person,” Hill said.
Hill says he went to the meeting anyway, but nobody would let him in.
Now, he fears the department will be shut down again- just like it was in 2011.
“Mayor Morrissey has on several occasions mentioned threatened to disband the department over a few issues,” Hill said.
Hill wouldn't say what those issues are.
We reached out to the mayor - but he won't comment.
There is a town hall meeting scheduled for Monday night, but so far no word on whether the fire department’s status will be discussed.
“Right now, we're just planning on showing up on Monday, but as far as we know I don't know even know what's going to be on the agenda,” he said.
The rumors of shutting down the volunteer fire department are spreading on social media.
Blake Little is personally against it.
“I know some of the firefighters and they come into our store. They're just a bunch of good guys and they do a service to the community,” Resident Blake Little said.
Norma Steinbron lives less than a block away.
“If there are emergencies, to get a fire department from some other town is almost worthless. You know you've got to have it right now,” Norma Steinbron said.
Interim Chief Hill says he confused why all 14 volunteer firefighters at his station could be in jeopardy.
“I know there's nothing financial on this one. We've done nothing wrong,” Hill said.
Former interim fire chief David Wilson stepped down in November.
He sent a letter to the Cashion board members that read in part,
“My second suggestion is that the police department is staffed by people who live out of town and are paid to come in to work, and the fire department is staffed by people who live out of town and spend the money out of their own pockets for uniforms, gas, food, training and do not receive a paycheck for the work they do.
My third suggestion is that the town board accept the department for what it is. A volunteer department with loyal members committed to protecting the lives and properties of the community for which they serve. The adage goes, “you pay for what you get,” and in this case, the Town is getting well more from this department than it pays for. I am amazed that a fire department who serves so many people providing fire and medical services to a large community has no budget, compared to a police department that covers 1.1 square miles, has no medical training, and doesn’t even provide 24 hours of coverage to this town. On top of that, there are members of the police department who get to take cars home, work second jobs utilizing marked Cashion patrol units, and benefit from this process in ways that these volunteers here have never benefited from this town.
Once again, I urge you to take serious thought into the suggestions I have placed before you and work with the fire department on its mission to promote life safety and community risk reduction through the efficient provision of emergency response to the community.
Sincerely, Former Interim Chief”
A town hall meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday. The agenda will come out tomorrow afternoon.