Janesville62.7°

Darien fire department handling problems itself

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Kayla Bunge
August 13, 2008
— Village President Bob Metzner and Town Chairman Cecil Logterman can’t seem to agree if the Darien Fire Department has enough firefighters to keep the community safe since at least five firefighters resigned.

Metzner said the safety of the village and the town is in danger and something needs to be done to resolve the department’s concerns with First Assistant Chief Dan Boss. Metzner said the firefighters who resigned told him they are concerned Boss has repeatedly overstepped his authority.


“I’m not going to let this drop,” he said.


The Janesville Gazette was not able to reach Boss for a comment.


Logterman said it’s not up to the village or the town to resolve a fire department matter.


“They need to resolve it within themselves,” he said.


Metzner, Logterman, Fire Chief Dan Nickels, Emergency Medical Services Chief Nellie Fox and attorneys for the municipalities met Tuesday night to discuss the problem.


The chiefs assured the municipalities that despite the five resignations, the fire department has enough staff, Logterman said.


“The protection is at a level that both the fire chief and the EMS chief are comfortable with,” he said.


Still on staff are 21 paid, on-call volunteer firefighters.


But Metzner said more firefighters could resign if the concerns with Boss aren’t resolved.


“You can’t just slough that off,” he said.


According to a letter written by former First Assistant Chief Don Iverson and obtained by The Janesville Gazette:


The Darien Fire Department on July 29 responded to a gas main that had been cut on Madison Street. Boss radioed for all units to stop what they were doing until he could get to the scene. He said was eight minutes away.


“I myself do not feel he has the proper training or knowledge of how to handle this type of situation,” Iverson wrote.


Iverson, who said he listened to the call on his police scanner, wrote that the fire department has had “many issues” with Boss.


Iverson wrote that the camaraderie within the department “used to be great before Mr. Boss started, and I strongly feel that the dedication and brotherhood would come back without him.”


Logterman said the fire department is looking into the matter.


Metzner said Nickels and Fox are working on a solution, and the group will meet in about a month to discuss how things are going, he said.



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