Mt. Vernon Firefighters Resign, Mayor Blamed

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 endangered 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 dsntmatter Location: rockcastle on Aug 15, 2008 at 03:51 AM
    she is the worst mayor ever!. she didnt have no right to drive up there when the firefighters were trying to put out a fire. they were just doing their job!.she needed to leave them alone and let them do just that!.
  • by rfrench01 Location: Mt, Vernon on Jun 22, 2008 at 08:49 AM
    I agree with fukthemvfd person, people need to get their facts straight before they go spreading the rumors that aren't true. the Mayor is a wonderful person who was concerned about her city. The fire Department was already finished at the scene anyway. I think that the fire department needs to stop blowing the issue out of porportion. Don't get me wrong I support the firefighters and what they do, putting their lives on the line but the mayor isn't to blame here.
  • by Fukthemvfd Location: Harvard University on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:43 PM
    Before all of the dumb morons get on here and start trying to bash someone they dont even know, and talk about a situation that they dont know about, they should get an education. Most of the idiots on here dont even know how to spell mayor. That should tell you something. Gaurantee they're the [ex] fire fighters themselves trying to act as another person and bash the BEST MAYOR THAT MT VERNON HAS EVER HAD. Go back to school morons. Also, the situation on the news is not at all what happened.First of all, the concerned mayor was with a member of the city council on their way to a council meeting when they heard that there was a fire. Being the Concerned mayor that she is, Kirby went to the scene to see if everything was all right. When she saw that the fire was put out and that the firemen werent using the hoses any more[the hoses were flat], she drove over them to get to the council meeting because the fire fighters were showing HER disrespect not letting her through. Right Story
  • by escapee Location: other than rockcastle on Jun 20, 2008 at 09:24 AM
    I'm so glad I moved out of that hole. Rockcastle Co. High School should change from "the rockets" to "the trees" since the whole county is filled with a bunch of nuts.
  • by j Location: floys on Jun 20, 2008 at 07:56 AM
    If you check the law, I think you will find the mayor cannot use any of the occupational tax money for fire, police, or ems. That money by law is for toruisim only....
  • by Resident Location: To former Resident on Jun 20, 2008 at 06:14 AM
    Don"t get on here and (edited) the Mayor alone. Call it how it is. They are all wrong. No she shouldn't have ran over the hose. But, the feud between them has been brewing for a couple of years now and just boiled over. Too bad Rockcastle Co. has to be the bunt of everyone's joke. I personally love living here.To all the "redneck" comments on here.Stop degrading yourself with foolish remarks like this. Rockcastle has some of the finest ppl in the state. We have an excellent Hospital and staff, we have beautiful towns and wonderful ppl. Yes some are distasteful,but that is anywhere you go.Kinda like electing Beshear, it was wrong but happened. Same with Kirby.Keith, I know what goes on during a fire/emergency situation and there are WOMEN that are excellent firefighters. Stop being such a pig. Women can do the job it just depends on the individual person's capabilities. I would like to know why charges has not been filed against the mayor though? Investigate all of them. Would be interestin
  • by former resident Location: not rockcastle on Jun 19, 2008 at 05:22 PM
    This isn't the first time that this mayor has had a problem with a city department. She does not have respect for the firefighters or their lives. this is clearly visible as she elected to run over the fire hose that was being used to extingish this fire. This mayor has also had a problem with the police dept. (edited). this is just another example of a city official doing what they think is best for them.
  • by Keith Location: Corbin on Jun 19, 2008 at 04:05 PM
    Being a volunteer fireman myself I find it so very disrespectful of the Mayor to do what she did. Not only did she disrespect firemen (who volunteer their time, effort, and their OWN gas) but then she runs over a fire hose. Shame on you Mrs. Mayor. And to the earlier comment about "they let ppl homes burn". We all volunteer. We have to get out of bed, get ready, go to the station, get our trucks, then go to the scene. I PROMISE you, EVERY volunteer Firefighter does their VERY best. To those who walked off the job. Good luck in whatever you all pursue.
  • by kim on Jun 19, 2008 at 03:31 PM
    let her fight her own fires. she acts like God let her try being God......
  • by Tim Location: Pburg on Jun 19, 2008 at 01:06 PM
    it took me a while to find it but i did. it is against the law to run over a fire hose. 189.930 Right-of-way to emergency vehicles -- Blocking or following emergency vehicles -- Driving over unprotected hoses of fire department. (4) No vehicle, train, or other equipment shall be driven over any unprotected hose of a fire department when the hose is laid down on any street, private driveway, or track for use at any fire or fire alarm unless the fire department official in command consents that the hose be driven over. so unless the incident commander told them they could run over the hose, she clearly broke the law and should be dealt with appropriately.
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