Three South Jacksonville Firefighters have apparently been dismissed from the Village Fire Department, just days after trustees accepted the resignations of three other firefighters.
At last week's Board of Trustees meeting, resignations for three separate members of the department were officially accepted. Mike Myers, a Captain that oversaw Emergency Medical Services education and licenses within the department, had 34 years on the village volunteer team. Mike McEvers, an assistant chief, and Bill Cummings, a lieutenant, both had 30 years each of experience. These three resignations were all for personal reasons that do not presumably pertain to this situation, with one of the volunteers citing health issues as his reason for retirement.
According to a now former member of the South Jacksonville Fire Department, three other volunteers were given notice of their apparent dismissal Monday evening at a meeting of the fire department. Kirk Hoots was apparently told he would no longer be working with the Village Fire Department on Monday evening. Hoots says he will not return to the department under any circumstances, and explains why.
“On November 29th, we had a meeting with the trustees and the mayor about how everyone has been treated. There were three people seated at the front table: myself, Rhiane Hoots, and Allen McClellan. After that meeting, we were informed that a decision in regards to the Village’s next steps would be announced soon. Then this past Monday, we had a fire meeting of the entire department, and even before the meeting began I was called into a separate room. Two of the Trustees were there, as well as 2nd assistant chief Brian Glascock and Chief David Hickox. I was given two choices: resignation or dismissal.”
Due to the nature of this situation, Village Fire Chief David Hickox was unable to offer a comment at this time. A South Jacksonville Committee of the Whole session was scheduled last week and will be held tomorrow evening beginning at 6:30. A closed session has been set for tomorrow evening's meeting in regards to personnel matters. It cannot be said with 100 percent certainty that this Fire Department issue is the reason for the closed session being scheduled.