In many small communities, the local fire department is made up entirely of a volunteer staff. The city of Ebro is not only in need of more volunteer firefighters, but might now be looking for someone to lead.
The sign says “volunteer firefighters needed,” but after Thursday night's city council meeting, what the Ebro volunteer fire department needs is a new leader.
Gina Persall, an Ebro City Councilwoman, said, "Last night at the Ebro city council meeting, Chief Wade Moon resigned his position as the fire chief for the Ebro Volunteer Fire Department."
The city council voted unanimously to accept his resignation. Moon, a 10-year veteran of the department, reportedly based his decision to resign on a disagreement on how the fire department's budget is spent.
Several of the firefighters are certified rescue divers and want the city to spend $6,000 to purchase dive equipment.
City officials say a search and rescue dive team would benefit Ebro, but it’s not a matter of priority at this time. All of our volunteer firefighters have not completed the state mandated Firefighter 1 Training or its equivalency, and the city council felt that until that training is completed that we could not justify that expenditure for the diving classes.
Three other volunteer firefighters reportedly intend to resign over this dispute. The only one officially threatening to step down is Chief Moon.
If the dive equipment is purchased it would be used as part of a county-wide rescue diver program.