Firefighters walk over unresolved issues - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters walk over unresolved issues

May 19, 2004

Ochlocknee - Dark clouds over Ochlocknee bring in more than just rain. A storm of controversy thundered through the tiny town after three firefighters walked off the job.

Travis Davis says, "I stood up for the tax payers of Thomas County because I thought this was a shoddy job, and I think they need to correct it whatever means they need to do."

Davis was a volunteer with the department for 33 years, Chief for 15. On Friday, he called it quits due to the foundation for the new fire department. Far away, it looks fine, but up close, the concrete is uneven. Davis says, "You can see by the slope in the floor in the drains, it's unacceptable to me and my department was real unhappy and I think it's going to be a work hazard."

A hazard he and others believe should be fixed. "I hope they fix this slab," he says, "I hope they, whatever means it takes, tear it up. Eat their loss now before they spend $150,000 plus on top of this slab."

Now there may be another hazard, a lack of firefighters. The station was already short-staffed. There was only one person manning the station for every shift. Now with the loss of two full time employees and a volunteer, they're having to pull firefighters from other stations to man this one.

And although Davis says he doesn't want to go back to the station, the county still needs to fix the problem. He says, "I just think that the management, county, whoever's involved in this should take responsibility and fix the slab, fix the floor."

Fix the floor and mend the department. The full-time employees left the department because they were being reassigned to different stations and had differences with County management. County Manager Mike Stephenson did not return our phone calls.

posted at 5:24 PM by karen.collier@walb.com

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