BLANDFORD, Mass. (WWLP) - A temporary leader for the Blandford Fire Department has been put in place after the entire department quit Tuesday night over a dispute with the Board of Selectmen.
Selectman Bill Levakis made that appointed Al Vautier the "Officer in Charge of Volunteers" for the town, according to Seletman Adam Dolby.
Levakis said he is also rounding up more volunteers. He admits many have no experience fighting fires.
The former chief, Robert DeCoteau, resigned stating false accusations against him and a lack of support from town leaders.
The volunteer firefighters resigned also as a show of support.
Levakis told 22News, "I think it got blown out and I think it was an ego trip on their part and for all of them to walk out like that is disgusting."
There is some debate over who has control over hiring and firing for the fire department. That and other issues are expected to be brought up during the next Board of Selectman meeting on Monday.
There is also an emergency meeting this Friday at town hall at 7:00 p.m., which Dolby says is to get everyone together under one roof, and have a conversation with the public and everyone involved about where the town stands, and where they're headed.
According to Dolby, Vautier is not technically a new fire chief, because one cannot be appointed until there has been a publicized open meeting. It is possible that the appointment could come on Friday, but he's not sure that will happen.