CERRO GORDO-Major changes are coming to
the Cerro Gordo Fire Protection District. In an emotional special
meeting, the trustees voted to fire longstanding chief Randy West and
hire a new chief. More than a dozen volunteers expressed their
desire to leave the department following that decision.
The board fired West, because of what
they call a philosophical difference on how to treat volunteers.
However, many of those volunteers were at the meeting, standing up
for West, handing over radios and saying the chief goes, so do they.
West says he's to happy to have their
support. He says he worries that the mass resignation means slower
response times. He says their average response time is only three
minutes and he expects it will increase.
The trustees have hired Steve
Rittenhouse as interim chief. He's the retired chief from Bement.
It's hard to say exactly how many
volunteers are left. The former chief says three. However,
president of the board of trustees says he's not sure how many are
left and that he hopes they can be back in business.