Mike Wallace resigns as head of Pinellas County Fire Chiefs Association
LARGO -- Last month, the Pinellas County Fire Chiefs Association told Largo fire Chief Mike Wallace that he would no longer represent them on the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council.
Wallace, who also headed the chiefs association, had voted in favor of a proposal by Pinellas County Administrator Bob LaSala to change the funding formula for dispensing EMS tax money to the 18 cities and fire districts that provide it. The chiefs group, which has endorsed a plan that would have firefighters take patients to the hospitatl, wanted Wallace to oppose LaSala's plan. Wallace narrowly avoided an attempt to oust him as head of the chiefs association.
Wallace came under fire for his refusal to cast the organization's vote as he'd been instructed. His action so infuriated St. Petersburg fire Chief Jim Large that he told the chiefs he would no longer participate in the chief's assdciation although he did not resign from the group.
This week, Wallace decided to get out of the line of fire. He resigned as president of the association:
"As a consequence of recent actions taken by the Pinellas County Fire Chiefs Association, I have been forced to resign as the representative to the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council; I have been subjected to a vote to remove me from office as president of the association that failed to garner the needed majority; and I have been cited as a cause of (the) St. Petersburg fire chief's decision to no longer participate in our association's business.
"The exclusion of (the) St. Petersburg fire chief's perspective is a detriment to the Pinellas County Fire Chiefs Association. My continued involvment as leader of the organization will serve no value to the chiefs or to my role as a professional public administrator. Therefor, I tender my resignation as president of the Pinellas County Fire Chiefs Association, effective immediately.
"I would ask Chief James Large to take this opportunity to take a leadership position in this organization and its future. His insight into the issues facing the fire departments of Pinellas County is an invaluable asset.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the county fire departments as their representative to the EMS Advisory Council and I am humbled by my election to the position of president of the Pinellas County Fire Chiefs Association. I will continue to be involved and to participate in achieving what is best for the citizens we serve."
Michael Wallace, MPA, EFO, CFO
City of Largo
-- Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer