Franklin and Simpson Fire Departments Merge

Franklin's former Fire Chief says she was shocked when she came to work this morning and was told she no longer had a job.

"I don't understand and i feel very cheated, that i wasn't given a notice on this or asked to participate in the planning process of this."

Sheila Butterbaugh along with the other two full time fire fighters in Franklin's fire department were let go after last night's joint meeting of the city and county governments.

Jim Brown, Franklin's Mayor says a consolidation was done to save money.

"We're charged with the responsibility of being the fiscal agents of city and county taxes, if we don't correctly, we don't deserve to have our jobs."

But, with the November election quickly approaching, one local official believes last night's decision could have been politically charged.

"I think politics does enter into it, i'm not saying it's the sole reason, but there is an election coming up November seventh. Eleven candidates running for the four seats on the Franklin City Commission and three for the mayors job."

While Brown and Simpson County Judge Executive, Jim Henderson say the decision was not politically based and there is a real need for the fire department to be run by the county... Butterbaugh thinks more time should have been put into the decision.

"There are far greater numbers of responses outside the city limits dealing mainly with what the mayor said. Dealing with accidents on the interstate, jaws of life... etc... all of that is outside the city limits."

"There's many issues that i don't believe were taken into consideration when this was decided."

County Fire Chief, Mark Halcomb will be the chief for the new Franklin-Simpson Fire Rescue. A second full time position is being added to the department. Butterbaugh says she will apply for that position.

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