Former fire chief fired up about resident safety

Former Midway Fire Chief
Posted at 6:07 PM, May 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-14 13:56:00-04

MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL)--The former Midway fire chief is outraged that the city's fire department has been cut in half.  This comes just days after reinstated city manager Auburn Ford accepted the forced resignations  of the fire chief, deputy fire chief, and assistant city manager.

Getting the truck prepared in case of an emergency is a typical day for the City of Midway firefighters.

But former Midway Fire Chief Frank Robinson says making it to every call could be tough now.

"Now we have firefighters who quit. We don't have officers, they've placed people who I don't think have the proper training and the expertise to do the job," said Robinson.

Just days ago Robinson lost his job with the fire department after City Manager Auburn Ford called for his resignation along with the deputy fire chief, and the assistant fire chief quit. Roosevelt Morris the former Assistant City Manager was also let go.

"I'm really worried, I wouldn't have stayed with Midway Fire department so long. I've always had the people's heart, I've always had the people in my heart, to take care of Midway," said Robinson.

Robinson questioned whether or not those on the job are certified firefighters. Also, he added his concerns about whether or not the city must have a certified firefighter as the fire chief. But we reached to the Florida State Fire Marshalls, they say its up to each city's individual agency what qualifications a fire chief needs.

The city manager says those who are now on the job know exactly what they're doing.

"Everybody has been trained. There's no one that we're putting out there, to jeopardize their safety. Citizens of Midway should rest good at night because they are covered by the fire department, we've got good staff here," said Ford.

Before last Thursday (May 9) Ford says the fire department had about 14 workers and majority of them were volunteers. Two of the fire department employees are paid, but now the department is down to 6. Robinson says it's just not a enough.

"We have 50-60 thousand people driving through midway everyday on Highway 10 and Highway 90, those people expect protection if something happens they expect us to be there," said Robinson.

Robinson says he hopes something is done quick so that the residents will be safe. Since Friday May 10 the fire department says they've responded to four calls including a fire department.

Ford says the city will be recruiting new volunteer firefighters. Right now they are paid about $10 a call from the city and Ford says they're looking to provide them with more.