Following recent allegations lodged against a member of the Stephenville Fire department, Chief Jimmy Chew said the department is conducting business as usual and has come together to fill in the gaps.
Despite public concern, there are staffers equipped to fill the shoes of Fire Marshal Gary Nabors during his absence. Nabors was arrested for online solicitation of a minor in mid-October and was released from jail last Tuesday after posting a $20,000 bond.
According to City Administrator Mark Kaiser, Nabors was placed on unpaid administrative leave immediately following his arrest.
Like Chew, Kaiser said citizens should not be concerned about operations at the fire department.
“All of the duties (of the fire marshal) have been reassigned and are being shared within the department,” Kaiser said. “We do have succession plans. They may not be fully spelled out, but we do have plans in place in case incidents arise. We are fortunate to have very good, qualified employees within the fire department who can pick up the responsibilities.”
While both Kaiser and Chew agreed that each of the city’s firefighters play a vital role in regards to public health and safety, they also emphasized the fact that there are also skilled investigators on the team.
Fire Inspector Cody Derrick, who has filled the inspector position for some time, recently gave his career a boost by passing tests to become a certified fire investigator. Chew said Derrick had been studying and taking courses to assist in the certification effort for some time, but in light of recent events, was able to bump up his testing date.
“He will be picking up some of the fire marshal responsibilities,” Kaiser said.
In addition, Captain Randy Spikes, is a licensed arson investigator and a certified peace officer.
Kaiser said the public can rest assured that they are in good hands in case of fire or emergency.
“We (the city) and the (fire) department are going to continue to provide the best possible service to citizens,” Kaiser said.