Mexico Beach- Did they disband, or didn't they? The status of the Mexico Beach Volunteer Fire Department is up in the air following a questionable vote Tuesday night by some of the firefighters to dissolve their operations.
"To the citizens, I'm sorry that I just can't do this anymore. I'm very sad, it's very disheartening," said soon-to-be Former Assistant Fire Chief Jay Metcalf.
But the city said just because a handful of volunteers decided to quit doesn't necessarily mean the entity is gone.
"Those firefighters may have left their job, but they didn't disband the fire department," said Mexico Beach City Administrator Chris Hubbard.
The city's attorney is now preparing a legal opinion on the issue. Hubbard didn't have a timeline when the city attorney would get back with his opinion. In the meantime the city has posted a notice outside the fire department building forbiding anyone from taking any equipment inside unless it's for a fire. A move Hubbard said is to prevent stolen property.
"Since they're using that word disbanded, then they're going to take all their equipment that they say belongs to the, sell it, give the money to charity.Take all the money out of the bank accounts and give that to charity," said Hubbard.
Metcalf claimed it's another case of bullying.
"Obviously there's people on this department that they don't want on this department, and this is the way they get rid of them," said Metcalf.
This latest issue some would say represents Hubbard's less than amiable relationship with the Public Safety Department. Hubbard, who called the perception one-sided, said it's time to move forward.
"If they were going to fight against the city in becoming a more organized, a more disciplined volunteer fire department, then it would be better for them to leave," said Hubbard.