Whitewright city council disbands fire department

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

WHITEWRIGHT, TX -- As of Wednesday morning the city no longer has a volunteer fire department, after the council voted to fire the current chief and disband the department at Tuesday night's meeting.

Mayor Bill Goodson said the department was unreliable - and there was a lack of communication between the city and former chief Joshua Clouse.

Enough that the city lacked confidence in their performance.

One year ago the city and the fire department worked together, coming to an agreement in drawing up a contact for rules and policies the department had to follow, Goodson said.

However, the department never signed and returned the contract, he said.

The council decided the only way to fix the issue was to "disband and re-build the department from the ground up."

They're currently accepting applications for a new chief and new volunteer firefighters. The council is still deciding whether or not the new chief position will be paid.

Their goal is to have a new full department hired within a week, Goodson said.

"If we had a fire here, sometimes no one would show up, even the chief would not show up. Even the lieutenants wouldn't show up," he said. "So that kinda gets close to me because we are to protect these people that live here."

In the meantime, surrounding fire departments will cover for any fires that breakout in Whitewright, Goodson said.

News 12 reached out to former Fire Chief Clouse, he did not return our calls for comment.

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