Huntington VFD

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Diddly Squat

Lufkin, TX

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#295
Mar 30, 2013
 

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Re inacar's post #287: "I am sure Jerry would welcome answering any questions, if you have some."

AND

Re Lacy Phillip's post #294: " Chief we will be happy to answer your questions."

Jerry certainly hasn't been very forthcoming in answering questions since December 2012 from ANYONE!!!!!

That apparently is ONE of the reasons he and the department are where they are today.

[Frances, I am still getting information and formulating an answer to the question you asked me.]

It is regrettable and sad, but I don't think the area will support three fire departments.

There are unanswered questions. Will the "CITY" Fire Dept only answer calls inside the city limits?
Will the CITY attempt to prohibit the present HVFD from answering calls inside the city.

Does the city have the authority? After all, the City of Lufkin forbids private ambulances from making "EMERGENCY" calls within the city UNLESS they are called to back-up the City of Lufkin fire.
And Lufkin Fire does run out of ambulances several times a week and asks Americare for help.

frances

Zavalla, TX

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#296
Mar 30, 2013
 

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Diddly Squat wrote:
Re inacar's post #287: "I am sure Jerry would welcome answering any questions, if you have some."
AND
Re Lacy Phillip's post #294: " Chief we will be happy to answer your questions."
Jerry certainly hasn't been very forthcoming in answering questions since December 2012 from ANYONE!!!!!
That apparently is ONE of the reasons he and the department are where they are today.
[Frances, I am still getting information and formulating an answer to the question you asked me.]
It is regrettable and sad, but I don't think the area will support three fire departments.
There are unanswered questions. Will the "CITY" Fire Dept only answer calls inside the city limits?
Will the CITY attempt to prohibit the present HVFD from answering calls inside the city.
Does the city have the authority? After all, the City of Lufkin forbids private ambulances from making "EMERGENCY" calls within the city UNLESS they are called to back-up the City of Lufkin fire.
And Lufkin Fire does run out of ambulances several times a week and asks Americare for help.
IF you can believe what was said in the last City Council meeting, the City dept will run in the city only. But if that is true, why did they work so hard at stopping our county funding?? Will they enforce an old city ordinance that prohibits the REAL HVFD from running in the city limits ??? In the mean time, What they really want is us to shut down. What would have happened had we walked in Jan when the city & county pulled funding ??? For that matter, what would the tax payers do if we turn all our trucks etc back to the TFS Monday.??? AC FFA says the City won't be ready till May 1.. What are they really saying??? Are they again gonna pull some trick out of the hat to take the 3rd.building & property from the volunteers & peoples donations that bought it & paid for it all ??? Who protects the tax payers ??? Ora has a brush fire truck ... Huntington has an engine .. Nursing homes, schools, day cares, banks, brookshires, your home etc... So how long do we the members foot the bills for everyone when very few seem to care what is happening here...????? County mutual aid has been promised ... Lufkin Inds fire is a good example of that. Moffet VFD, 1 person.. Fuller Springs vfd 2 people, Zavalla O .. Ora many peope & a brush truck .. HVFD 2 trucks & 7 people.. the cities engine was locked up across town & still is of no use to any one.. just a few questions .. How can a few X-Members that made to leave a volunteer fire dept. because of their wrong doing & then all the slander they put out with the cities help, ruin a vfd that has worked so hard & never tried to smear anyone's name through all this.... if you all can, please explain it all ??????????
Other

Fort Worth, TX

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#298
Mar 31, 2013
 

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There are two sides to this story, but the ultimate blame for the "falling apart" of the Huntington VFD rests squarely with the Lasalles. Let me explain. No doubt, there were some lackluster members in the fire department. Did they need to be removed? Absolutely. Was the way Jerry and Frances went about it right? No way. However, the Lasalles have been using these tactics for years. Let me explain. The fire department goes through obvious cycles where a crop of "good" members come in. However, as soon as the "good" members start to make improvements, and discussion is begun on improving the administration as well, Frances steps in and does what she does best. What she does best is manipulation and intimidation. You see, the fire department is everything to the Lasalles. This was evidenced by Jerry refusing to step down in order to save the overall integrity of the fire department. Once they start intimidating, most normal people will let them have it. It's not worth it. This leads to a membership consisting of subpar candidates. The people willing to stick around are your "social club" type people. Were there good members dismissed? Undoubtedly. However, I'm glad this all played out like it did. Why? For one, the city department will be a fresh start with quality management. The county department will eventually fold and be absorbed by the city department. Last, Frances Lasalle, who is the driving force behind much of this, will see that her small-town scare tactics finally bit back. Good game.
Frances

Memphis, TX

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#299
Apr 1, 2013
 

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Other wrote:
There are two sides to this story, but the ultimate blame for the "falling apart" of the Huntington VFD rests squarely with the Lasalles. Let me explain. No doubt, there were some lackluster members in the fire department. Did they need to be removed? Absolutely. Was the way Jerry and Frances went about it right? No way. However, the Lasalles have been using these tactics for years. Let me explain. The fire department goes through obvious cycles where a crop of "good" members come in. However, as soon as the "good" members start to make improvements, and discussion is begun on improving the administration as well, Frances steps in and does what she does best. What she does best is manipulation and intimidation. You see, the fire department is everything to the Lasalles. This was evidenced by Jerry refusing to step down in order to save the overall integrity of the fire department. Once they start intimidating, most normal people will let them have it. It's not worth it. This leads to a membership consisting of subpar candidates. The people willing to stick around are your "social club" type people. Were there good members dismissed? Undoubtedly. However, I'm glad this all played out like it did. Why? For one, the city department will be a fresh start with quality management. The county department will eventually fold and be absorbed by the city department. Last, Frances Lasalle, who is the driving force behind much of this, will see that her small-town scare tactics finally bit back. Good game.
This post explains why we did not try to post on topics or use the news media slander tactics that you see here.. The tongue is the most powerful weapon on earth.. Words can be used to destory anything. Too bad other has to hide their name .. Thanks for reading & posting..
Diddly Squat

Lufkin, TX

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#300
Apr 1, 2013
 

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David Stua wrote:
I am David Stua. I will be posting open records requests in a new topic. Stua Open records requests to Huntington.
I will answer select questions about why I am requesting records to Huntington and other governmental entities.
I will assist others in open records requesting if you ask a question.
LOOKS LIKE UPPITY UP FINALLY CONFESSES!

Since: Jul 12

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#301
Apr 5, 2013
 

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GARAGE SALE : FRIDAY & SAT. APRIL 5TH & 6TH : PECAN AND MAIN, in HUNTINGTON... ALL PROCEEDS TO HUNTINGTON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT...8 AM-6 PM
Diddly Squat

Lufkin, TX

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#302
Apr 12, 2013
 

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Re:
http://www.ktre.com/story/21936564/new-volunt...

HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE)-
Huntington has a new volunteer fire department after the city council recently pulled the funding for the Huntington Volunteer Fire Department due to irregularities.

City manger, Bruce Milstead says the city council and mayor have approved the creation of "The City of Huntington Volunteer Fire Department" and appointed a chief and assistant chief.

Paul Hatch has been selected as chief and Lance Dempsey as assistant chief.
Milstead said, "Chief Hatch is a paid firefighter and paramedic with the City of Jacksonville and Lance Dempsey is a paid paramedic with Beaumont EMS and he also works for Vidor, the City of Vidor as a paid firefighter also."

I'M CONCERNED about both the Chief AND Ass't Chief of the new "City of Huntington" VFD having regular jobs approx. 100 miles away.

Since: Jul 12

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#303
Apr 12, 2013
 

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Diddly don't be concerned, I'm sure Bruce can explain just how this will all work. Some days I have to scratch my head and say, "What are they thinking?" and some days it's right here in Huntington that something happens and I think, gee they live here too. Yesterday a fire "accidently" got set on 10th Street with a message left for the HVFD to come and contain the blaze. On their arrival Bruce and Bobby stood under an umbrella together keeping watch over the fire. It just seems this accidental fire would have been a good practice run for the City Fire Department, since they have just a few more weeks before they will be taking over our coverage. Anyone know how the City Fire is coming along?
freedom for all

Rio Vista, TX

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#304
Apr 24, 2013
 
test
freedom for all

Rio Vista, TX

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#305
Apr 24, 2013
 

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Okay lets set this straight with the facts.

#1. On the evening of the HVFD elections, Jerry La Salle had Derek Clark come into the meeting and "fire" every one there. Jerrys reasoning was that no one but him and his wife were "true" members of the Department as they were the only ones who had been approved by the Board of Directors. Prior to this Derek and Jerry had gone to the City officals of Huntington telling them that they were getting ready to "fire" everyone to rid the Department of trouble makers and felons. Now this all sounds good execpt the Board of Director Member who had done all of the firing, Derek Clark, is himself a convicted felon. So this brings some doubt into Jerrys claim that he was riding the Dept of Felons and trouble makers.

#2 Concerned about the current situation the Fire Chiefs got together to discuss this issue. This was not a called meeting by the Angelina County Fire Fighters Association as some people have been saying. At this meeting the Chiefs felt that given the circumstance stated above that Jerry actions were cause for concern.

#3. At a meeting of the ACFFA the Chiefs discussed with the memebrship what hey had taked about. A motion was made to suspend HVFDs funding until such time HVFD was able to properly explain thier actions. This voted passed with 89% of the members voting in favor of the motion.

#4. The Officers and Fire Chiefs of the ACFFA tried to talk and reason with Jerry on several occasions but he refused to compromise. Jerry did request a meeting with the all of the Fire Chiefs to discuss this issue.

#5. A meeting between the Fire Chiefs and Jerry was held at the Huntington City hall. One of the "fired" members Steven Davidson gave his side of the events. Francise LaSalle and Lacy Phillpis spoke for HVFD, that is until Francis stormed out slaming the doors as she went. In the end it was proven, using HVFD own by-laws and Articles of Incorporation, that not only was thier Board of Directors improperly established but that the members were denied thier right to apeal the Chiefs decsion to "fire' them. The Fire Chief for Zavalla asked Jerry to stand up and in his own words explian why he did what he did. Jerry failed to give any reason for his actions

#6. At the next City Council meeting Chief LaSalle was again given an opportunity to explain his actions and once agian he failed to. He was asked by a memebr of City Council to step down as Fire Chief, he refused. It was only after he refused to step down did the City vote to discontinue funding now had Jerry agreed to step down the City probably would have contiunued to fund the HVFD. But Jerry left them no choice so HVFD has Jerry to blame for the discontinued funding.

# 7 At the next meeting of AFFCA Jerry failed to ask for his funding back he was given ample opportunity to do so but he chose not to. At that same meeting Bruce Milstead and Bobby Epperly asked the Assocaition for help in resestablishing the City of Huntington VFD. The President asked for volunteers to help out and 4 people were selected to help out on this project. The ACFFA did not form this committe nor does this commitee speak or act with any authority of behalf of the ACFFA.

#8. A the April meeting of the ACFFA, Jerry stood up and said that his wife was going to speak for him on behalf of the HVFD. But instead of trying to clear the air and work things out, Francis gave each department a 6 page document accusing almost every VFD, the ACFFA and several individuals of commiting various acts of wrong doing. So instead of coming and trying to work things out she attacked and tried to threaten and intimidate everyone. The sad thing about this had they cleared the air conering the events that occured, that lead to thier funding being pulled they might have gotten in back , but instead they just made everyone mad.

So as you can see Jerry LaSalle and HVF were given numerous opportunites to work things out but choise not to. So who is really to blame
freedom for all

Rio Vista, TX

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#306
Apr 24, 2013
 
Correction in my earlied post I stated under point #8 that those events occure at the April meeting of the ACFFA but it was the March meeting
Freedom for all

Grandview, TX

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#307
Apr 24, 2013
 

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In regards to your comment about how many qualifed people will jump up to fill the job of Fire Marshal. several people applied the City Chose Ozzie Jarman who is a Captain with the Lufkin Fire Department,oh and works in the Fire Marshals Office for Lufkin and is an Arson investigator and a Paramedic. Hmm sounds like he is 100 times more qualified then Jerry ever was
inacar wrote:
<quoted text>
I believe that well paid position was $200.00 a month, let's see how many qualified people jump to fill that job. So we seem to want to blame Jerry for the City not funding the VFD and it's Jerry's fault the City doesn't have a Fire Marshall? And it's Jerry's fault the members were ousted on election night? I think if you look at the facts you will find this doesn't add up. The lawyer for the City said on numerous occasions that it was the City's timing not Jerry's about when the members were asked to reapply for membership. The lawyer also said moving forward on removing funding from the HVFD was not the best course for the City. And I've been told the City Council was told removing Jerry as Fire Marshall was not the way to proceed. I just ask, is the City better off today than we were on December 10, 2012? I hear that the very people the City refused to consider being on the HVFD are the very ones they now are considering to run the City Fire Department. Isn't that an interesting development? Of course this is all from the "Grapevine" so I guess we'll have to see if they got it right.
Freedom for all

Grandview, TX

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#308
Apr 24, 2013
 

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To answer your question is City is simply going to use the remaining money that has already been budgeted for this year to help fund the City VFD. No money is being moved or "spread thinly" from other areas. Stop by the City and ask to see thier budget for this year its open record. Unless you are afraid of the truth.
inacar wrote:
I just want people to think about what is happening, look at the City and what it's responsible for right now. Look at the condition of every part of our infrastructure and the condition they are all in at the moment. Why would we want to spread City services and money any thinner? To me if the HVFD has served and provided service since 1947, why should we not figure out some way to salvage that department. If the only answer people will be happy with is for Jerry to step down, then let's be honest and say it. Jerry stepping down was not the problem, the problem was BM wanted to appoint a Fire Chief without a member's vote. So what is the answer?
And look making that little foil hat and spewing at the same time is not an easy task, but you seem to be handling it quite well yourself.

Since: Jul 12

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#309
Apr 25, 2013
 

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Freedom for all wrote:
To answer your question is City is simply going to use the remaining money that has already been budgeted for this year to help fund the City VFD. No money is being moved or "spread thinly" from other areas. Stop by the City and ask to see thier budget for this year its open record. Unless you are afraid of the truth.
<quoted text>
I appreciate your timeline. It seems it does tell your side of the story but as we all know their are many sides to this story.
So the Citizens are assured that no money will be used for the new City Fire Department. It will truly be self funded by the volunteers? I think you should also look at the budget.%13,500 is what is budgeted and that surprisingly matches the amount Citizens donate on their utility bills. So I guess the Citizens will be paying for the City Fire Department? I think most of us will wait and see if this is what is best for our Community. Maybe you are right. Time will tell won't it?
Freedom for All

Grandview, TX

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#310
Apr 25, 2013
 

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I never said the Dept was going to be completely volunteer funded. In the Citys approved budget for this year money has already been budgeted for the HVFD. Now that the City is no longer funding HVFD it can take the monies ALREADY APPROVED for use by the HVFD, that has not been spent, and us it on the City VFD.

As far as my side of the story, the time line I provided can be 100% supported/verified because those meeting were all recorded through video, audio and written minutes, so everything I said was based off those minutes and recordings.

The City of Huntington VFD just picked up $14,000 worth of protetcive clothing today at $0 cost to the tax payer as they were able to obatin this protetcive clothing through the helping hands program at the Texas Forest Service.

So lets see they have a fire engine and have just fully equip 10 members to fight fires at $0 cost to the tax payers. Sound like they are off to a good start to me
Freedom for All

Grandview, TX

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#311
Apr 25, 2013
 

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If I am not mistaken Inacar you were at the City Council meeting where Jerry was asked to step down, and if you remember it was only after Jerry refused was the funding cut to the Department

Since: Jul 12

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#312
Apr 25, 2013
 

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Freedom for All wrote:
If I am not mistaken Inacar you were at the City Council meeting where Jerry was asked to step down, and if you remember it was only after Jerry refused was the funding cut to the Department
Do I understand you, you are saying Jerry stepping down was the only thing required? I want you to remember his stepping down was not mentioned by the City as one of the requirements when it all began. I also must point out HVFD being out of compliance with the bylaws, just how many on that County Board were also out of compliance with their bylaws at the time they were pointing their finger at the HVFD? You act as if I'm against the City Department, that's not really correct. I just feel there were better ways to have handled everything that happened. And I believe people with something to gain instigated problems instead of finding solutions. Let's just watch and see what happens over the next few months.
Diddly Squat

Lufkin, TX

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#314
Apr 26, 2013
 

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That last straw was the chief voiding a scheduled election on the night of the election by requiring all the members to turn their gear in and telling them they were no longer members.

Had I been a member, I would have REFUSED. My thought is, if you are voted in, you have to be voted out.

Since: Jul 12

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#315
Apr 26, 2013
 

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Last night we had a good report from Fire Chief Hatch, seems everything is moving right along. The City Fire Department now has 8 new members and has been excepted into the ACVFD and is online for call outs. He feels May 1st is looking good for their official start up. I noticed we did not have any update on the bylaws and it bothers me that Chief Hatch was not present when the 8 new members were accepted. To me the timing should have been changed to when he could be there, after all he is the Fire Chief, the one responsible for them. Very glad to hear they received $14,000 in donated equipment from "Helping Hands".
Freedom for All

Zavalla, TX

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#316
Apr 26, 2013
 

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incar,

The Department is orgnanized with a Chief and Assistant Chief, the reason is so when he Chief cannot be there the Assitant Chief can act in his place. Chief Hatch was unable to make the intial interviews. However the Assitant Chief was able to make it to the interviews and he along with 4 other members of the Board of Directors interviewed each propsect applicant, 9 people applied and only 8 were selected. You have to remember no one on the City VFD gets paid for what they do, not even the Chief,that is why it is called a VOLUNTEER fire Department

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