Mannsville Volunteer Fire Department gets interim fire chief

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MANNSVILLE, OK -- The Mannsville Volunteer Fire Department has named a new interim chief after the former chief was let go by the city.

Blake Hartwell was fired last week.

City officials say they let him go after receiving the department's bank statements months after asking for them.

Hartwell says he turned them in and that he was told he wouldn't lose his job if he did.

The new interim fire chief appointed has drawn up a contract for firefighters to sign.

The contract says any behavior detrimental to the fire department or city could be grounds for termination.

Firefighters say they were upset after hearing they had to sign.

Interim Chief Derek Gray says, "I just thought we could talk about this contract as a way to maybe resolve the issues with the city council and the fire department."

Mannsville firefighter Steve Pense says, "That the locks had been changed on the fire station and to get a key we need to come up there and sign our paperwork and get our key and if we hadn't done that by yesterday afternoon that we were assumed to be voluntarily terminated."

The Johnston county commissioners will continue to discuss the matter at their meeting Tuesday and both Gray and the firefighters plan on attending.