RED SPRINGS, NC (WMBF) - The Red Springs fire chief and firemen have stepped down due to a policy change.
For more than a decade, Tim Beasley has been fire Chief in Red Springs, and for more than a decade, how they respond to accidents has been the same.
The department gets the call, sends out trucks and equipment, and does everything it can to help. But now with a new policy made by the town, that's not the case. "It's disheartening to us that somebody's trying to take the way we help people and dictate our policies of the way we've run for years," Beasley said.
Now the department will have to wait for police to call them to a scene, which Beasley says wastes valuable time. That's why this week, the entire department stepped down in an act of solidarity."This is our way of saying, hey look we don't agree with this at all," he said. Beasley says if you limit who can and can't respond to a scene, it could have dire consequences.
"It could be a matter of life and death in the long run, and that's one of our concerns," said the former fire chief.
We reached out to the mayor of Red Springs and he says the town's biggest concern is congestion at the scene of an accident. Beasley doesn't agree. He says congestion will happen at any scene and believes this is about money. Red Springs pays the department ten dollars a call, so it wouldn't have to pay that if only police arrived on scene.
While the two sides will continue to fight this battle moving forward, Beasley says it's important for everyone to know that the department will still be there for the citizens. "We haven't turned our backs on the town or the citizens," said Beasley. "We're still here providing fire protection, 24-7 just like we have for the past 100 or so years."