OXFORD (WGME) – Members of the Oxford Fire Department are demanding that their chief resign. They accuse him of putting them and the public at risk.
Last night the majority of firefighters here at the Oxford Fire Department decided to ask their fire chief to resign. But today the chief showed up again for work. Now the firefighters are saying he needs to step aside or they’ll take command themselves.”
Lt. Mark Blaquiere said “We don’t have a fire chief here any more, the town may pay him, but we do not respect him enough to call him a fire chief any more.”
For the second time in a year, Oxford firefighters send a letter of no confidence to their boss the fire chief.
“To put it in a nut shell, He’s just not a good leader nor does he care about this fire department.” added Lt. Blaquiere.
Fire Chief Wayne Jones was handed this two-page letter at the departments monthly meeting Monday night. Citing dozens accusations from his firefighters.
“We all addressed our concerns and he had nothing to say. He wouldn’t even answer our questions. He sat there and had nothing to say to us.” stated Lt. Blaquiere.
The letter alleges Chief Jones doesn’t communicate or work well with his firefighters and is putting them and the community at risk
“Some nights we roll out of here with 3 guys, that’s unsafe. Nothing says we have to come out. We come out because we love the job.” Lt. Blaquiere said.
Another allegation, the chief rarely works a full day.
Lt. Blaquiere also stated “He just showed up for work. He’s supposed to be working 8-4 every day. He shows up whenever he wants. Leaves whenever he wants. He leaves for hours on end.”
When WGME arrived at the station at 10:30 a.m. tTuesday, the chief had just arrived All he would tell them about the “no confidence” letter, was no comment.
“I’ll need to refer you to the town manager.” said Chief Jones.
Interim town manager Rebecca Lippencott refused to comment on camera about the controversy but did confirm they’re looking into the allegations.
Although the interim town manager said she’s looking into the allegations against the fire chief, the firefighters said they’re taking things into their own hands, hoping to get enough signatures on this petition to make the chiefs position an elected one in the town.