Chief's dismissal prompts Preston firefighter walkout
GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas (KTEN) — Preston Fire Rescue, which serves the Preston Peninsula north of Pottsboro, has a personnel crisis.
Six volunteer firefighters turned in their resignations at a meeting of the organization's board of directors last Friday after the board terminated Chief Chase Stanford.
Only three firefighters remain on the force.
One of the stated reasons for Stanford's dismissal was misappropriation of funds.
Christian Collins was one of the six PFR volunteers who resigned in solidarity with Stanford.
"He had no prior disciplinary history that we were aware of, nothing we could find on the records, and he'd been nothing but a good fire chief," Collins said.
He suspects that Stanford's dismissal was connected to the cost of firefighter training, which Collins said would have been reimbursed once the training was complete.
KTEN reached out several times to the Preston Volunteer Emergency Services board of directors, but an official statement has not been released.
Collins said the department has gone through six fire chiefs over the past five or six years.
"We have an estimated 1.7 million visitors per year just to the marinas," he said. "We have Tanglewood resort, and all of that is covered by volunteers, who a majority of the time — Monday through Friday — are unavailable. We all have other jobs."
The next public meeting of the PVES board of directors is scheduled for September 13.