All active volunteer Charlotte firefighters resign ‘effective immediately’

All active volunteer Charlotte firefighters resign ‘effective immediately’
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 9:17 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2022 at 7:26 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WILX) - All 23 volunteer firefighters with the Charlotte Fire Department resigned Monday night.

The announcement was made at the Charlotte City Council meeting, which caught the council off guard.

“Let us be very clear -- not a single one of you has been in charge of an emergency event such as a structure fire, a car accident or even a medical emergency. Not a single one of you is qualified to make a determination on what resources are needed at these events,” one of the volunteers, Ron Smith, said. “There should be no questions from any of you about how many trucks are dispatched or how many people it takes to save a life.”

Smith cited several allegations against the board as the reason for leaving. Those allegations include inflammatory comments about the volunteer force, discrediting the department’s work, and reportedly pushing out the newly-appointed fire chief.

Read: Charlotte fire chief resigns following mass resignation of volunteer firefighters

Charlotte mayor Michael Armitage denied the allegations.

“I believe the city council has been really supportive of him and, for what he has tried to do with leadership of that department, I believe that the city manager has been very supportive of our fire chief and the fire chief reports to the city manager,” Armitage said. “I don’t think it is fair to say city council can never question things when it comes to the budget or operation of any department of the city, which the fire department is.”

Armitage said fire protection will continue in the city from their full-time firefighters and partners outside of the city.

Update: Charlotte city officials meet with volunteer firefighters in effort to rebuild department

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