Bill Matthews now volunteer fire chief

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bassfield Volunteer Fire Department members did not want to lose Bill Matthews as fire chief of their department, so with the help of Mayor Pat Courtney, they contacted Patrick Dendy at the State Auditor’s Office to find out if they could elect Mr. Matthews as a volunteer chief.  All county fire departments now have a volunteer chief except Prentiss Fire Department.

The opinion received from Mark W. Johnson, Esq., of the State Auditor’s Office states that the term “employ” as used in Senate Bill 2547 may only refer to a compensated individual, therefore it would not effect a person who is volunteering their time.

On Thursday, July 17, 2014, Assistant Chief Phillip Allday scheduled a fire department meeting.  This meeting was attended by twenty volunteer men and women, including all of their elected officers.

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After the opinion from the State Auditor’s Office was read, Mr. Mattews was nominated, seconded and a vote was taken.  Mr. Matthews was elected as Volunteer Fire Chief for Bassfield Volunteer Fire Department with a unanimous vote including several absentee votes sent in by members that could not be present due to work or family obligations.

Mr. Matthews accepted the position as fire chief on a voluntary basis.