Local News

6 Selma Firefighters Reinstated After Meeting With Town Leaders

Posted June 14, 2007

— A three-hour meeting Wednesday night helped bring some closure to the recent rift among Selma Fire Department members, the mayor and the town manager.

The manager suspended 10 firefighters last week after they walked off the job in protest of his decision to replace their volunteer fire chief – who has been with the department for more than 30 years – with a paid, full-time chief.

To protest the move, the firefighters placed their gear at Mayor Charles Hester’s house on June 7. They acknowledged at Wednesday night’s meeting that it was not the right course of action, Town Manager Stan Farmer said. The meeting was closed to the public.

Farmer agreed to reinstate six of the 10 suspended firefighters, which will take effect Friday. Two others resigned after being suspended. Assistant Fire Chief Alvin Heath was fired after leaving threatening messages on Mayor Charles Hester’s voicemail, Farmer said.

One firefighter's suspension was lifted after town leaders learned he didn’t participate in the protest.

The firefighters wanted the town to hire a full-time engineer to help maintain equipment instead of hiring the chief.

On Tuesday night, the town board voted to move forward with a budget that includes a $55,000 salary for a new, full-time chief.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • trotter2047 Jun 15, 2007

    Wait a minute, we are going to pay someone to do a job that someone else is volunteering to do? This makes as much sense as keeping these jokers in office next term.

  • Historians__8th Jun 15, 2007

    hondaman, I agree, they didn't handle this situation very well!

  • gratefultoGOD Jun 15, 2007

    This is an example of why this "little town" has not grown.. but shrunk in the past years. Who want to come to a town that the people act like children.. do not repect authority. It will only get worst! New business will not comed, drugs will get worst, educated will leave, opportunities will decrease, jos will disappear, property value will decrease......

  • superman Jun 15, 2007

    The mayor may have done some things for Selma- but we also need to be reminded of the 30 years of service the fire chief gave. What they have done is cold hearted and thoughtless. No one should be treated with such total disrespect. 30 years of service and they throw him out like trash.

  • martini Jun 15, 2007

    Can someone tell me how we have lost numerous police officers in the past 18 monhts because there were no pay raises and out of date equipment to come up with money for a full-time fire chief? We have lived in Selma for 18 months. We met almost every cop on the force within a couple of months at the school crossing. During the town's festivals we always spoke to town officals and especially the fire chief, to this day we have not got as much as a nod from Hester. I fear Mr. Hester's blind sidedness has divided the town, yet again. We moved to Selma because of the small town appeal. The fact the fire station and police stations were so close to our home. In the time we have been here, we have seen a lot of LEO leave. Police dispatchers loss their jobs because they were going to the county 911 center. Which means there is a call box outside the police station rather than being able to go in and speak to someone. And now the fire chief. Selma is losing appeal with each hesters decision.

  • 050462 Jun 15, 2007

    who fought the fires when those 10 quit?????i see too many people on the payroll good job

  • Historians__8th Jun 15, 2007

    Go Golf, No problem friend, I did not mean to imply you could't agree or disagree. If I gave that impression I apologize.

    I do know that one reason it Mr. Hester so many years to decide to run for mayor was that was friends with just about everyone in town, and he had reservations about how running the town properly would effect those friendships. I hope the good people of Selma will remember who he was before he was mayor. None of us always make the right or best decision and we all make mistakes. And sometimes the best decision is hard to make, and hard to take.

  • Go Golf Jun 15, 2007

    there are always 3 sides to ever story and 3000 views on what it is all about. His road maybe paved with good intentions, but his actions makes for another story. It is hard to do the right thing at this point because being nice last a day - being bad last alot longer.
    I don't know this man. but I have see and known people of this nature before. To agree or disagree is our right. To judge is not.
    Have a great day

  • Historians__8th Jun 15, 2007

    John, how are you doing, tell your mother hey for me, I miss seeing you all. We were just reminiscing about your Dad the other day, "God Bless Him!"

    As far as the money for the New Chief goes, I believe that money was allocated for that position several years ago, but no one ever seen it through. Probably for this very reason!

  • gopanthers Jun 15, 2007

    I don't think the Mayor will make it through the next term. His caused to much trouble already.