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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  • by Anonymous on Aug 3, 2007 at 05:14 PM
    our Bell county fire fighter is using our stations for free storage building how can they get away with this.
  • by Travis Location: bell county on Jun 27, 2007 at 07:50 AM
    Mr. Glenn I would like to respond to your comment. First off who is your son-in-law? You say he was brushed aside by the new regime...is that the "true" regime or the judge ex? The papers were not filed because the FD had a new address and did not get the paper work. It is now taken care of and the FD is back in the rightful hands. Second, no one was in danger at all. If they are active fire fighters they are covered no matter what. Let me see if memory serves me correctly the money from Papa Johns went towards equipment for the new training tower. Charitable money was not used for personal gain...as many personal have stated, it was left in a locked safe until this years road block when it could all be turned in at once. You sir need to go back and do some research.
  • by Glenn Location: El Cajon, California on Jun 22, 2007 at 07:23 PM
    My son-in-law was part of the volunteer fire department and was brushed aside by the new regime. It is my understanding that the people that took over neglected to properly take care of day to day business in that the incorporation letter that should have been filed in November of 2006 was never filed and the insurance covering the corporation was never renewed meaning that all firefighters and their assets were at risk if a lawsuit were filed seeing that no corporation existed. Not to mention that a $10,000 grant from Papa Johns cannot be accounted for, and that money collected for children was found stashed away in the fire department. It sounds to me like these people were skimming off of the department, county, and charitable monies for their own gain. At the very least they should all be incarcerated. The judge filed the corporation papers and took over responsibility as well he should have. People who are corrupt have no business running a volunteer fire department, nor any venue that is responsible for donated or county monies. I truely hope that this all comes out in the wash and the guilty parties are sent to prison to pay for their wrongdoing.
  • by John Location: Brownies Creek on Jun 22, 2007 at 07:34 AM
    It is my understanding that ALL of the charity money is accounted for in the safe where it was supposed to be until the next telethon happened when it would be FORMALY donated. If every penny is still accounted for then at best M. Brock can say, good intention but bad judment on behalf of BCVFD but surely can not claim misuse or abuse of funds. Lets remember the the FD is run mostly by coal miners and stay at home moms, niether of which recieved in formal education in high school on how to run fire departments. They do a job that the county has never helped with but often hinders. Mr. Brock, if your SOOO conserned, why havent you gotten of your lazy behind and volunteered to be a part of the dept. I am sure they would have quickly offered you to help with running the dept. And remember they cover 309 Square miles, Pineville and Middlesboro only cover a few square miles each and are paid and have more operating funds and equipment per station than BCVFD does, and they dont cover an average of 30 Square Miles either. So be a part of the solution Mr. Brock and not part of the problem, because you could have just seezed all the finance books and the stuff in the safe and let the FD stay open. This makes me wonder about your alterior motives and why you are being so hurtfull to the people. And also the money that the BCVFD gets is NOT, I say again, IS NOT from taxes. It is from the insurance companies, is that not correct?
  • by Jessica Location: Bell Co./ Whitley Co. on Jun 21, 2007 at 07:40 PM
    Dear Judge Brock- I have this to say to you. When lives and homes have been lose because of your stupidty in stepping in on something that you know nothing about. -May God Have Mercy on Your Soul. I have seen how hard those BCVFD members work in saving people during wrecks and home fires. Have you even thought to ask why the money hadnt been sent to the Childrens Charity? Had you even asked when that drive was suppost to be or did you just ignore the fact of all the rain we had in the spring and ignore the fact that maybe that money was waiting until another drive could be held??? And for Mr. Chris Compton-- I think you need to get some facts straight before you go running your mouth. Yes i do support my BCVFD member from the callaway station!
  • by SSG Arp Location: FortHoodTX on Jun 21, 2007 at 07:08 PM
    I would really like to know how Mr Brock thinks he has it covered if there is a fire. How quick does he think Pinevill FD could respond to Calloway or Brownies Creek, heaven forbid if someone gets burned to death in a fire only blocks from a closed station. Also, I am sure the insurance companies are not going to extend fire coverage to areas without fire protection, it is part of thier policies, he is hurting the comunity. If he thinks something illegal happened then he should investigate but he should not make the people suffer for his stupidity. Also, isn't this the same guy who is upset with the leadership of BCVFD because they would not sell him thier radio tower? We had a similar problem like this during the Browning and Hoskins feuding days and it always boils down to the Judge wanting to get his paws on the BCVFDs money. I was a BCVFD member for over three years as well as a BCVRS member and now soon to be a medicaly retired disabled vet and I have learned well in my days as a vol FF that the county has always gone after the BCVFD and even MR. Browning himself, whom some say if he was here this would not have happened, what short memories y'all have.... This is nothing new, it just involves new names. And there was a huge amount of progress that happened in the BCVFD since Rodney became the chief and besides he was elected by his peers and re-elected because of his performance record. Thank you to all the folks back home that get up to the tones at 2AM to help thier nieghbors in time of need, God bless you all and I wish I was back there to help out.
  • by Firekiller Location: USA on Jun 21, 2007 at 07:01 PM
    I posted yesterday but never seen my post! Anyway....... Seems to me like the dept has been tried and convicted before any facts are proven! arent you the people of Bell County Terrified at the thought of someone inexperienced coming to save your home? I would be!!!!!!!! training to be a firefighter isnt an easy job. anyone can drive a truck ! but can they run the pumps? Use a foam truck ? fill the truck up with water? I hope these so called new firefighters knows the difference between a spanner wrench and a Money wrench!!!!!! Wake up People before something bad happens ! Hey WALLY seems someone needs to call in the feds huh ? And Mr.brock only holds the BCVFD Name he bought. But the property belongs to the firefighters ! someone check that and get back to me ! Many prayers to Bell County Firefighters and the Citizens
  • by Jerry Rae Location: Pineville on Jun 21, 2007 at 02:18 PM
    You Know I've read every comment on here and some of them really discuss me!!! I've been a CERTIFIED FIREFIGHTER for 14 yrs. now and I know a little about the fire service. It's very sad when you have a Dept. like BCVFD, WITH ALL THE FINE equipment they have and it be runned so POORLY!! They said they couldn't run on $250,000 a year and was going to shut down some of the busiest stations they have!!! Well first of all, why couldn't they've tried to make some cuts to their Dept. without shutting stations, like not running 4 to 5 trucks to a car wreck when fuel is so high??? I'll tell you why; they had lost sight of why us volunteers do what we do everyday!! I t became a SHOW instead of trying to work this out, they wanted to try to touch hog, and guess what, it didn't work!!! So to you Mr. Brock and the Fiscal Court; THANK YOU for looking out for the people and their money in Bell Co. whether citizens realize it or not; you've done what should've been several years ago!!!!
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Bell County on Jun 21, 2007 at 01:40 PM
    I have been sitting here reading all of the comments and I am so disappointed in what is going on. You would expect something like this during an election year. I have heard a lot of negative comments on the BCVFD and its members and I have to wonder how many of those comments come from people who has actually has had the misfortune of having to rely on the services of the great men and women from the organization. If they had, there would be more support here. Every time that there is an emergency where the fire department is called on, they are sacrificing their own time and lives. They are not PAID and to most, they don’t want to be. And obviously, they are not there for the appreciation, because frankly to read the comments here, there isn’t any. But I can tell you this, they are there for an important reason. That is to try to save structures and lives. Do they think about themselves when they enter that burning building? Most will say that they don’t. They are giving their all to help the citizens of Bell County! This is the thanks that they get! Please before everyone is so quick to judge and convict, lets take a moment to remember that there is ALWAYS 2 sides to every story. Lets get our county protected again like it should be. With certified volunteer fire personnel who want to help the citizens of this great county we live in.
  • by WALLY Location: MANCHESTER, KY on Jun 21, 2007 at 08:25 AM
    "THE BELL COUNTY JUDGE IS MISUSING HIS OR HER JOB TITLE WRONGLY. ONLY THE FEDS AND OR THE STATE HAS GOT THE POWER TO TAKE OVER A VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT. NOBODY ELSE SHOULD HAVE THE POWER TO DO SO."

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