County Takes Over Volunteer Fire Department

If a fire broke out right now he says they're ready to fight it.

That's what the Bell County Judge Executive says after he took over the county's volunteer department and its nine fire stations.

Bell County leaders made the move because they say they have serious questions about management and spending practices within the department.

With their fire headquarters guarded by sheriff's deputies, several Bell County volunteer firefighters were asked to turn in their gear as county leaders took over the department.

The county judge says the sheriff is now investigating several firefighters after questionable spending practices and possible mismanagement.

Last week the department said it didn't have enough money to keep operating.

Other county leaders are filling fire management roles and some former firefighters are coming back, but one firefighter asked to leave says the county isn't covered.

The county judge says despite the changes, they're ready to fight fires if they break out.

The Bell County Judge Executive says the takeover isn't permanent, he eventually wants to transfer control back over to the volunteer fire department.

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