Cashion Asks Fire Chief To Work For Nothing

Thursday, June 9th 2011, 11:16 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

CASHION, Oklahoma -- Just a week and a half after a tornado hit parts of rural Cashion the town may have to weather another storm.

On Monday the city council voted to quit paying the town's fire chief. The chief is the only paid member of the fire department. The rest of the department is volunteers.

Chief Chantz Robinson says the council told him the decision is based on budget reasons. Robinson says he may look for another job since he would no longer get paid for being chief. If that happens, volunteer firefighters say they would leave, too, meaning the city would no longer have a fire department.

"About as soon as I walked into the executive session they said they decided they're not going to pay the fire chief anymore," Robinson said.

He said the council gave him an outstanding review and said it would like him to stay on as chief, only as a volunteer.

"I definitely have to take a step back and think about that," Robinson said.

But if the chief leaves, volunteers said they may do the same.

"I'll leave if he leaves." said volunteer firefighter Tim Lowrey.

"I'm still deciding," Ronnie Jech said.

"If you don't have any firefighters, you don't have a fire department," said Robinson.

According to Robinson all city employees got a raise this year. In addition, the city hired another person for its office staff.

"I definitely think there's more to it than the actual budget," said Robinson.

One viewer wrote to News 9 concerned the council is "putting the whole town in danger, not only by leaving us without protection, but our insurance will skyrocket if he decides to quit."

News 9 tried repeatedly Thursday to contact the Cashion city administrator and council members but we were told they were all in Oklahoma City at a conference. At this point no one has returned our calls.