Kentucky Firefighters Criticize Fire Chief; Public Forum Scheduled


 
 

Jillian Ogawa | | Tuesday, March 25, 2008


GEORGETOWN, Ky. -- Several Georgetown, Kty., City Council members expressed concern Monday about a letter from firefighters criticizing the management style and some of the decisions of Fire Chief Rob Wittenbarger.

The criticisms will be aired in a public forum, the council decided.

The unsigned letter accused Wittenbarger of cutting back on emergency runs, including the possibility of not responding immediately to car accidents unless requested by Emergency Management officials. The letter also accused the fire chief of not replacing aging and broken equipment and making disparaging remarks to employees.

"It's a good thing the public is being made aware of the direction that is taking place in the department," Eric Colson, president of Georgetown Professional Firefighters Local 3681, said after the meeting. "And I hope we can take corrective measures before they can get out of hand."

In response to the letter, Wittenbarger said in an interview last week that the department is still responding to vehicle accidents, but has worked with EMS to change which medical runs firefighters should respond to.

Wittenbarger is evaluating the efficiency of responding to certain non-emergency calls. The department has already limited responses on certain medical runs, such as asthma attacks, Mayor Karen Tingle Sames told the Herald-Leader.

Wittenbarger said the disparaging remarks cited in the letter were taken out of context, and that equipment is being repaired. The department has gone at least $700,000 over budget over the past three years, he added.

"We will balance the safety of the citizens with the fiscal responsibility of managing our tax dollars," said Wittenbarger, who has been fire chief since 2007.

Councilman Mark Singer said it is important to discuss the issues "out in the open as much as possible."

The public forum will be at 6 p.m. April 7 at the Cardome building in Georgetown.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Leadership and Professionalism, Operations and Protcols

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Image Trend: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ImageTrend just challenged NEMSIS TAC and a couple others.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.?

A.J. Heightman participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a big way!
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >