Mt. Vernon Fire Fighters Resign, Mayor Blamed

By: Sherelle Roberts Email
By: Sherelle Roberts Email

A group of 11 fed-up firefighters walked off the job Wednesday in Mount Vernon and say they won't be coming back.

The mass resignation is being blamed on mayor Clarice Kirby. Some say the feud between the mayor and the department has been brewing for years, but the argument has just now boiled over.

Kirby says the fire fighters aren't accountable for their spending habits and general behavior. Steve Griffin, one of the firefighters who resigned, says the mayor doesn't respect them.

But what the mayor and former firefighter Steve Griffin do agree on is what event caused the resignation.

The mayor went to a fire scene that the department was working to check in on the homeowner who might be losing their home to the flames. Fire crews had the street blocked off with their cars and fire hoses.

When the mayor prepared to leave the scene she was told she could not, because the street was blocked off. The mayor admits that she left the scene anyway, by driving over the firefighter's hoses. The firefighters claim this endanged them in numerous ways and that this act by the mayor, was the last straw. Several firefighters resigned immediately.

As to who will fight fires in the future, the mayor says neighboring departments have volunteered to pitch in.


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  • by Citizen Location: Mount Vernon on Jun 22, 2008 at 08:12 PM
    Citizen of Brodhead, once again get your facts straight. She didnt take anything away from Jack, he was acting chief until Thursday under the appointment of the mayor. Then by his own choice, he resigned from the position claiming he had friends on both sides of the issue and just did not want to be in the middle of it at this time. He also personally told the mayor that he would like to be a part of the department after everything settles down. JACK NOT BEING CHIEF WAS JACK'S CHOICE. HE WAS APPOINTED ACTING CHIEF BY THE MAYOR THE DAY THEY RESIGNED. HE HELD THAT POSITION 3 DAYS AND DECIDED IT WAS TOO MUCH OF A MESS TO BE A PART OF.
  • by It's just a little Pot Location: Hair test please on Jun 22, 2008 at 06:53 PM
    Got Drug Testing?
  • by Citizen Location: Brodhead on Jun 22, 2008 at 06:11 PM
    I agreee, The firefighters have done an great job by protecting our community. I think that Mayor Kirby has been acting very imature,and so inocent as if she didnt know that it was against the law to run over the firehose. To me she has been trying to back track to keeep from getting in trouble. worrying about nobody just as long as she covers up her wrong doing. The firefighters that didnt resign hag in there. But there is one who keeps popping in my head, On the paper in the firestation it listed Jack Weaver as ast. chief and when the others resigned and Jack still being there after 20 something yrs, Why didnt she let him be chief, but NO she gave it to him and pulled it back away from him in less then 48 hrs. And as far as the firefighters go, keep hope everything will work out for the best. Dont let her run you out, Mayor Kirby should be fired and pressed with charges!!!!
  • by Resident of Location: Mount Vernon on Jun 22, 2008 at 03:29 PM
    LIVE IN MT VERNON, You should change your name to live in a fantasy world. This fire dept didn't save the house next to Board of Ed. office, the house across from Bishop Tire, the St. Clair house, Appalachain Medical Equip office, 2 houses at Renfro Valley, and four in the City and the one from monday night and one tuesday night. All of those are on the ground. They only saved the foundations. And those arent even all of the ones not saved within 3 miles of the firehouse in the past 2 or 3 years. The list of ones they haved saved is a fraction of the ones lost. Also one new member and asst chief left for personal reasons, nothing to do with the mayor and they even told the mayor that after this settles they would most likely be back. Also there are currently 7 members that are still there that didnt leave.
  • by John Location: Lexington on Jun 22, 2008 at 05:11 AM
    BOB: Your an IDIOT! Enough said. Secondly: The mayor there is not above the law. What she did is a crime and she, like any other citizen, should have to pay the price. And last: To the people of Mount Vernon: You all voted her in so deal with it.
  • by concern citizen Location: Mt.Vernon on Jun 21, 2008 at 07:02 PM
    Yes, the firefighters have done an outstanding job by protecting our community. They DONT need the mayor to put their life in danger, when its a danger each and every time they are called out to a fire. And maybe the mayor needs to be send for an EVAUATION!!!! The mayor should have never act the way she did on the news. With an attidude, and no repect for others. I think mayor Kirby should be pulled from her seat of being mayor and get a real person that actually knows the law and their job! Charge her!!! I think that the firefighters should be called back for their jobs by Mayor Kirby and if she cant fulfill this duty she needs to resign. It is not the neighboring communities job to help out unless they are called out for more man power. We had the BEST,BRAVEST,FEARLESS FIRE FIGHTERS in Rockcastle
  • by citizen Location: Mt.Vernon on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:04 PM
    Funny, that this happens just after anew occupational tax has been passed by the city and county? The notion of paid firefighters just evolved after the tax increase.
  • by live in mt.vernon Location: rockcastle on Jun 20, 2008 at 09:19 PM
    Hey William, I do live here and I also personnely know every fireman that walked and I can say I have never seen any of them treat anyone bad. Also since you have lived here for 64 year have you ever risked you life trying to save someones life like these guys, I say probally not. Concerning the legal claims just like the Co. atty. stated of no knowledge of that toward these men and the mayor could not even make up a name of someone that is suppose to be doing this. The comment made by another was the firemen had never saved a house, well I have seen many saved and the home owners personnel belongs have also been saved. I don't guess this person ever reads the local paper which has the articles about this. There is more to the story and being able to look at the pictures that are put in the paper. Also since people want to blame the firemen that left then why are the new members and new asst. chief already leaving the new dept. goes to prove it is the mayor at fault after all.
  • by Used to live in Rockcastle Location: Kentucky on Jun 20, 2008 at 08:13 AM
    For the firemen who resigned...they should be offered their jobs back based on past work performance. I'm sure some, if not all, done their job well, and that should not be over looked. There's only so many times that you can turn the other cheek, then you have to take a stand. Those firemen are under enough pressure with the purpose of their job, they don't need an ignorant mayor trampsing down the street, trying to push her way through, then endangering their lives when she thinks she's been there long enough and wants to leave. I can only say, I hope your council meeting was important enough to cause the trouble you have laying ahead of you. I would not stop still justice was done, she was charged, booked,spent a few days in jail, then went before a Judge to face her crime. She may be mayor, but that title doesn't keep her actions above the law.
  • by Juanita Location: Lexington on Jun 20, 2008 at 08:02 AM
    Well Bob! FYI - I don't live in Rockcastle County - don't personally know any of them, and obviously neither do you, my point exactly! People like you just automatically assume that because it is in Kentucky - they are barefoot rednecks with no shoes or teeth. If you are not from Kentucky - and you find it so repulsive - then WHY are you here - go back where you came from - we redneck hillbilly toothless barefoot Kentuckians DONT need your kind here.

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