WASHINGTON - The news that Washington Fire Chief Mike Vaughn’s contract will not be renewed is drawing reaction from throughout the community.
The Washington Fire Department board voted not to extend his contract when it expires in July.
“I was shocked. Didn't even know what to think about it,” said Washington Volunteer Firefighter Adam Fuller.
That’s how Fuller felt when he heard his Fire Chief, who he described as a “very respectable, understanding man” won’t be on staff come August.
Fuller has been volunteering for five years.
The Washington Fire Department tells us four out of five board members voted not to renew his contract at June 10th executive session.
Vaughn shared the news with a few people within his staff in the days that followed. It was made public earlier this week.
“Pretty much everyone has the same reaction. No one saw it coming.”
Vaughn was hired six years ago as the staff’s first full-time Fire Chief.
In May he won the 2013 Firehouse Magazine Heroism Award- as well as the Medal of Valor, given to him by the State Fire Marshall’s Office for his bravery during the November 17th tornado.
“He's just been so active in the community. Even before the storm.”
That’s why Valeri Brod started a petition to keep Chief Vaughn in Washington. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had nearly one thousand signatures.
“The community doesn't feel the way that those four people who voted feel,” said Brod.
“ I would like to see a little bit more transparency as to why it was, his contract, was not passed.”
We reached out to the Fire Board. The called it an internal issue and wouldn’t say more. Chief Vaughn also didn’t want to comment, but seemed in good spirits. The public will have a chance to voice their opinion at the next board meeting on July 8th at 6 P.M. The meeting will be at the Washington Fire Department.
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