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6 Tekonsha firefighters call it quits at Township meeting

Updated: Wednesday, March 6 2013, 12:28 AM EST
6 Tekonsha firefighters call it quits at Township meeting story image
TEKONSHA, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Half a dozen firefighters called it quits in Tekonsha, raising concerns about public safety.

It happened Monday night at the Township Board Meeting, where a trustee followed suit and submitted his resignation as well.

The trustee, Rick Phelps, spoke with Newschannel 3 Tuesday night, and said he didn't wish to be part of destroying the fire department.

He refused to appear on camera but we did speak with his wife, who watched as one firefighter after another resigned on Monday.

"They were just heartbroke," Bertha Phelps described. "They really were."

She described a group of firefighters, one right after the next who submitted their resignations, before her husband did the same at the end of the meeting.

"I know how very passionate he was to serve, and that was very hard for him to resign last night," she said.

Phelps says the group did it because of a strained relationship with the board.

"There was just a whole bunch of things that added up to one large thing, and it just came to a head and the firefighters had just had enough," Phelps said.

The fallout came on the heels of the fire chief's resignation on February 28th.

A source close to the issue told Newschannel 3 that the board approved raises for fire personnel, and then rescinded them.

The move was reportedly the last straw for the six firefighters.

Sources say there are more than 10 firefighters left on the township roster, but we're told the list is outdated, and those on it generally don't respond to calls, which could force nearby townships to pick up the slack.

The move has implications for the surrounding area as well.

A source close to the issue says it will hurt those townships nearby that depend on Tekonsha for mutual aid.
6 Tekonsha firefighters call it quits at Township meeting
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