De Soto Fire Chief Suspended, Firefig...

De Soto Fire Chief Suspended, Firefighter Terminated

There are 266 comments on the WHOtv story from Jul 21, 2010, titled De Soto Fire Chief Suspended, Firefighter Terminated. In it, WHOtv reports that:

The De Soto Fire Department is dealing with a shake up. The department's chief has been suspended for 60-days and one of its firefighters is out of a job.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WHOtv.

Green Street

West Des Moines, IA

#21 Jul 22, 2010
It is about time this action is taken. Next it should look into the City Workers...
concered citizen

Creston, IA

#22 Jul 22, 2010
its terrible the mayor of DeSoto wants to put the city in danger because he had a personal vandetta against the fire department. The chief and her daughter have volunteered to risked their lives many times to protect the citizens of this small community for many years. They have many times been the first and maybe the only ones to show up on a call. It takes time to call surounding towns to respond to an emergency and by that time it could be to late.
concered citizen

Creston, IA

#23 Jul 22, 2010
luann wrote:
<quoted text>
What is it that they have done to get fired and put on a leave?The news never really did say. And what is the mayor of DeSoto saying when he says the department has been doing their own thing without the guidance of the city? What does that say about the department, the past mayor, and others involved? Is the mayor a fire fighter? Has he had all the training that is involved? Does he know what it takes to be a volunteer, do get awaken at all hours of the night, to make sure he has what he needs to do his job? So many questions, so few answers. I guess if I was the firemen of that town, getting $5 a call for many hours of labor, having a new mayor who wants to come in and change everything, run everything and so on... maybe I would rethink my decision to be a "volunteer" firemen. I am glad we have a supportive council and community
No the mayor is not a fire fighter
Another DeSoto resident

Philadelphia, PA

#24 Jul 22, 2010
knows first hand wrote:
<quoted text>you are so clueless, unless you were there to witness this, your statement is unfounded, and you should get your facts straight
Well I was at the council meeting that this happened at and I have been attending them for a few months now. I do know they have been asking her to get things in order. I do know there have been complaints from the memebers themselves and several have left the department earlier because of it. I HAVE my facts straight. How many meetings have you attended?
Green Street

West Des Moines, IA

#25 Jul 22, 2010
The mayor needs to go, the city workers need to go, the council needs to go, also how about the liability risk of the Police chief having his wife ride around with him while he is on duty, is he scared of the dark????
DeSoto Resident

Des Moines, IA

#26 Jul 22, 2010
Impeach Chapman!!! Get Rid of the Problem...he seems to be only out for himself! Now we only have 4 firefighters?? God Forbid if anything catches on fire as we will be sitting and watching all of our possessions burn up by the time Van Meter or Adel get there!!! Sad Day...Good Bye Josh Chapman..you are the one that needs to go...afterall, these are VOLUNTEERS for our fire department!!!
My Town

Des Moines, IA

#27 Jul 22, 2010
If you are worried about being protected - try volunteering! I have. I'll bet if some of the people complaining volunteered then maybe they'd understand why Chapman did what he did. Other towns are called in to assist all of the time.

How many De Soto residents knew how many firefighters were on the dept. before all of this happened? Do you know how many left the department because of the two individuals in question? There is a lot more to this then just what is on the news. I feel safer knowing the City is finally going to make the fire department get their act together. Having high numbers of firefighters on the dept. doesn't make the town safe. Being up to date and having firefighters that know wth they are doing and that can work together is what makes the safe.
Another DeSoto Resident

Philadelphia, PA

#28 Jul 22, 2010
amy wrote:
<quoted text>
What do you mean "house in order"? Grants? I thought all the fire dept did was fight fires and save lives. How do they know how to do paper work for grants? Do they have an up to date computer that is programmed for this? Are they volunteers that work full time jobs?
The city is in a very tight budget year. They do what they can and what they can't they have asked the various departments to use grants etc to help. The house in order is in response to what has been reported by a lot of memebers as in fighting and problems. There is paperwork that needs to be done and records to be kept to insure members have the training and skills to safely fight fires. For example now if a volunteer hasn't taken firemanship one class they are not to enter a burning structure. This insures that the volunteers are safe while doing an important job. The fire chief also has a duty to the citizens of the town to make sure they aren't exposing them to lawsuits. If a memeber never trains and gets serously injured in a fire or heaven forbid killed...the city could be liable if it shown to be lacking in providing training. Volunteer fire chiefs are VERY important and key members of a city. If the city doesn't feel they can rely on that person...should they just ignore the problem??
amy

Creston, IA

#29 Jul 22, 2010
Another DeSoto Resident wrote:
<quoted text>
The city is in a very tight budget year. They do what they can and what they can't they have asked the various departments to use grants etc to help. The house in order is in response to what has been reported by a lot of memebers as in fighting and problems. There is paperwork that needs to be done and records to be kept to insure members have the training and skills to safely fight fires. For example now if a volunteer hasn't taken firemanship one class they are not to enter a burning structure. This insures that the volunteers are safe while doing an important job. The fire chief also has a duty to the citizens of the town to make sure they aren't exposing them to lawsuits. If a memeber never trains and gets serously injured in a fire or heaven forbid killed...the city could be liable if it shown to be lacking in providing training. Volunteer fire chiefs are VERY important and key members of a city. If the city doesn't feel they can rely on that person...should they just ignore the problem??
You state there is paperwork,firemanship one class. Where are the classes, when are the classes, and does the city pay for these classes. Do The members that have been on the department for many years have to take these classes? I would assume they have had firemans training. Is this also the case when members that are not trained responders assist in responder calls. Should the people that haven't attended the proper classes not respond to any calls until they are trained? Alot of unanswered questions.
amy

Creston, IA

#30 Jul 22, 2010
My Town wrote:
If you are worried about being protected - try volunteering! I have. I'll bet if some of the people complaining volunteered then maybe they'd understand why Chapman did what he did. Other towns are called in to assist all of the time.
How many De Soto residents knew how many firefighters were on the dept. before all of this happened? Do you know how many left the department because of the two individuals in question? There is a lot more to this then just what is on the news. I feel safer knowing the City is finally going to make the fire department get their act together. Having high numbers of firefighters on the dept. doesn't make the town safe. Being up to date and having firefighters that know wth they are doing and that can work together is what makes the safe.
I know someone resigned the night the mayor fired the member and laid off the chief. How many trained members are there now? Members that have made it thru all the training, probation time and such? What about trained certified first responders?
amy

Creston, IA

#31 Jul 22, 2010
Another DeSoto resident wrote:
<quoted text>
Well I was at the council meeting that this happened at and I have been attending them for a few months now. I do know they have been asking her to get things in order. I do know there have been complaints from the memebers themselves and several have left the department earlier because of it. I HAVE my facts straight. How many meetings have you attended?
Wow, I didn't hear about the other members of the department complaining about the chief. I do know that someone resigned the other night. But I hadn't heard about anyone else leaving because of these members. How many trained, certified firefighters and first responders are on the department now? Is there a chance that they might leave too? Would that leave anyone who has gone thru the proper training for fire and rescue?
amy

Creston, IA

#32 Jul 22, 2010
Another DeSoto Resident wrote:
I think people should get more facts before they get upset. The Council and the Mayor point blank asked the people involved if they contacted the Fire Assoc about breaking off from the city council control. They repeatedly denied it. The president of the assoc has told a council memeber that yes they did ask that very same thing. They are still denying it. The fire depatment has been asked repeatedly by the council to get it's house in order and they only give excuses. The fire department has been turned down for grants based on the sloppy record keeping and the problems. If you want the whole story you should listen to the tape that the city council makes of Every meeting.
the city had to pay for COD delivery of a radio becuase the people who repaired it had been trying for weeks to contact the chief to get it picked up and she never returned calls or emails.
There has to be something done.
How did this all get started??
My Town

Des Moines, IA

#33 Jul 22, 2010
amy wrote:
<quoted text>I know someone resigned the night the mayor fired the member and laid off the chief.
So then you probably also knew that this individual asked for their resignation letter back?
Very Conserned

United States

#34 Jul 22, 2010
I think people should get all the facts before jumping to conclusions. Listen to the tapes of the council meetings and you willl see how many times the fire chief has been asked to turn in paperwork and has not. The fire chief was only put on probation not suspended and if she would look in their own rules she would know that she would be like a new volunteer with no voting rights. Lying can not be tolerated anywhere anytime! As to how many firefighters there are at last count there were 12 and at the last council meeting 2 more were added. I am not sure where 4 or 5 came from because I count 12 left.
Another day in De Soto

Ankeny, IA

#35 Jul 22, 2010
Check facts? Done.

Bottom line: What's going on in De Soto is nothing more than a reflection of what's going on in every small town here and afar. Lack of funds. Lack of structure. Power trips and misguided attacks. Lack of capable people willing to put themselves in the public eye.

So you get people like Josh Chapman for mayor. Last I knew, the mayor is an elected position. If the city of De Soto doesn't want these problems, they shouldn't elect half wits to office.

The city of De Soto is riddled with back door politics, shady deals, poor management, and misguided decisions. Has been for years. Wonder what the former city clerk is doing now, anyone remember her? How about the council that fired her, where are they? Anyone recall the shady dealings with developers? How many police chiefs has De Soto gone through in the past 10 years?

Anyone see a pattern here? The fire department flap is nothing more than a new chapter in a very old, very long book. I feel horrible for those involved, especially the ones who's hearts want only to help other people, not get mired in the BS of city politics.

But I also assert De Soto is no different than the hundreds or even thousands of small towns just like it. The people who have the talent and ability to do the job stay away from public service, because they're smart enought to recognize the imbalance between risk and reward.

Good luck De Soto.
concered citizen

Creston, IA

#36 Jul 22, 2010
feeling unsafe in DeSoto wrote:
As a resident of DeSoto I am feeling very unsafe at this time knowing that our fire and rescue department is 3 members down. I understand that the Mayor stated that the council represents the city and that they are speaking for the city. Well they are NOT speaking for me and after talking to a few of my neighbors I don't think they are speaking for them either. I will be going to the next council meeting so I can represent myself. This city has some issues!
GOOD for you I hope more ppl at least consider listening to both sides.I do know that the Mayor has disliked the women F.F. for sometime.
concered citizen

Creston, IA

#37 Jul 22, 2010
De Soto homeowner wrote:
I just moved to De Soto and have taked to some other people about the issue and from what I have heard. The chief and her daughter were a problem to start with and needed to go. So I think it is a good thing. And there are many people that I have talked to that want to join the fire dept but have not because of the chief and her daughter. So the problem with the low number of people I think will get solved pretty easy.
I 'm not sure who you have spoken with ,but since you are new to the town maybe you should get to know ppl befor you judge.I have known this family for many years ,and can say I would want them on the 911 call. I know they are respected by many F.F ,and first responders from surrounding towns also.
Facts Are Stubborn Things

Des Moines, IA

#38 Jul 22, 2010
Chapman A firefighter wrote:
<quoted text>
The mayor is NOT a fireman. He's like 23 years old and thinks he's God because he's the mayor and precious little Daddy ran for Dallas Co supervisor and lost, but will probably get appointed. All the Chapmans are worthless, even the ones from Adel. Mayor is just on an ego trip.
Truly, you are ignorant. Last I checked Mayor Chapman did not vote on the issue. Secondly, you lack all understanding of the political process as evidenced in your comments. Mr. Chapman is not "appointed" but rather voted on by delegates. Lastly, its about time someone clean-up this mess of a fire department, we ought to thank the councilmen who had the courage to make a difference. Maybe now the department can have some unity!
concered citizen

Creston, IA

#39 Jul 22, 2010
I need to say that the Mayor seriously needs to get his information straight befor he talks to the media.He stated there are only 5 memebers left,when infact there are over 10 members!!! how sad to have such pettyness toward VOLUNTEERS!.Also lets remember these are usually ppl without alot of buisiness background.The State has changed many by laws making it very difficult fot these men and women to take more time away from family to figure out the buisiness end.This dept not only protects the community,the travelers on I80 ,but also raises money for the children of DeSoto,they put on Christmas, Easter,and Halloween activities.How sad the city wants to end all this.
Facts Are Stubborn Things

Des Moines, IA

#40 Jul 22, 2010
My Town wrote:
If you are worried about being protected - try volunteering! I have. I'll bet if some of the people complaining volunteered then maybe they'd understand why Chapman did what he did. Other towns are called in to assist all of the time.
How many De Soto residents knew how many firefighters were on the dept. before all of this happened? Do you know how many left the department because of the two individuals in question? There is a lot more to this then just what is on the news. I feel safer knowing the City is finally going to make the fire department get their act together. Having high numbers of firefighters on the dept. doesn't make the town safe. Being up to date and having firefighters that know wth they are doing and that can work together is what makes the safe.
Well said!

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