Swearengin VFD deals with resignations, financial problems - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Swearengin VFD deals with resignations, financial problems

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Swearengin fire department deals with changes in leadership. (Source: WAFF) Swearengin fire department deals with changes in leadership. (Source: WAFF)
MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A volunteer fire department in Marshall County is dealing with another resignation while struggling to handle financial issues.

The acting fire chief of the Swearengin Volunteer Fire Department, James Dake, resigned, and a new chief has taken over.

The turnover comes two weeks after voters rejected a fire protection fee which would have gone to aid funding efforts.

In the two weeks since that vote, the fire department has not been called out to work any fires, but they have answered all medical calls.

The department is also working to make all its payments. They held a car wash fundraiser over the weekend but still had to shift funds around to make a note payment on their truck. New chief David Jones said they barely made that payment and he hopes the community will rally around the department to help.

"We're going to have an open house sometime in the next quarter and get the community in here so they can see some of these numbers and see where this money is going and kinda see why we need the support," Jones said. "I would like them to just see for themselves where we stand as a whole."

The community plans to hold a meeting Thursday night to talk about the fire department.  The meeting will be held near the fire hall in the Swearengin Community Center.

Organizer Brian Crabtree says they are banding together to deal with the fire department in finding a way to get adequate funding. Crabtree also feels there will be a need for some restructuring in the department.

Also on the agenda, Crabtree says they need to figure out a way to restore mutual aid with the Grant Fire Department that recently pulled out of the mutual aid agreement.

Crabtree says he's inviting the new fire chief and board of officers in the department to also attend for their input.

Attempts to reach James Dake regarding his resignation were unsuccessful.

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