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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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