Assistant fire chief takes on additional responsibilities

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Personnel matters dominated the Monticello Board of Aldermen’sTuesday meeting, the mayor said.

Assistant Fire Chief Hugh Summers was appointed as the floodplain manager and building inspector following a shake-up lastmonth at the Fire Department. The city pays three full-timefirefighters, while the rest of the force is composed ofvolunteers.

Mayor David Nichols said former Fire Chief Wayne Harrison wasreleased in September for failing to perform the duties required ofhim and insubordination. Nichols would not provide details.Harrison was a 19-year veteran of the department, who served manyyears as chief. He also served as the city’s flood plain managerand building inspector.

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Harrison was replaced by former Assistant Chief RobertPatterson, and Summers moved up to fill the assistant chiefposition. Patterson, who is also director of the Lawrence CountyCivil Defense, declined the two additional positions Harrisonheld.

Summers has agreed to accept those responsibilities, Nicholssaid Tuesday.

The upward mobility of the town’s full-time firefighters leftthe lowest-ranking position vacant, and the town has been seeking aqualified firefighter to fill it.

The town received two applications for the position in the lastmonth. Both applicants were active volunteers in thedepartment.

“Both would have made a great fireman for the citizens ofMonticello,” Nichols said. “However, one candidate did not have ahigh school diploma or its equivalent, which is a requirement forfull-time employment with the town of Monticello.”

Therefore, the mayor said, the choice was made simple and JaredEvans was offered the job pending medical clearance.

Nichols said he had not been able to contact Evans by the end ofthe day to notify him of the board’s decision.