A huge crowd came out in support Sundre’s former fire chief Wednesday night.
While town officials and firefighters met inside the fire hall to discuss the controversial dismissal of Marty Butts, the crowd outside grew to about 200 at one point.
Butts, who has been a volunteer firefighter for 34 years and spent the last 10 as chief, was let go last weekend.
Local business owner Jared DeGray, who started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay Butt’s legal fees, said nothing was resolved at the meeting, and fire department was in worse shape after several firefighters quit following the meeting.
“That’s the shape we’re in right now,” said DeGray who waited outside the fire hall Wednesday night.
“We’re relying on half-hour response times at minimum.”
On Thursday, Sundre Mayor Terry Leslie was unavailable to comment on department staffing.
On Tuesday, Leslie issued a statement saying that Sundre Fire Department was fully operational, and Behr Fire Services were asked to come in to assist Sundre fire department’s transition.
In a statement released Tuesday, Mountain View County Reeve Bruce Beattie said that mutual aid agreements have been in effect with neighboring municipalities for many years that would provide for additional resources and personnel in the event that a situation is larger than the Sundre department can handle.
“Municipalities have been collaborated with over the past couple of days to ensure that they have the capacity to assist under the current environment,” Beattie said.
“Mountain View County council and administration continue to support the Town of Sundre and the volunteer members of the fire department as they work towards a mutual resolution to the current situation and are committed to continuing to keep our residents informed as more information comes to light.”