Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two more volunteer fire companies in Hillsborough close

TAMPA — Two more volunteer fire companies are closing up shop and turning over operations to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue amid questions over county funding.

The North Brandon Volunteer Fire Association and Dover-Turkey Creek Volunteer Fire Department informed county officials Monday that they would cease operations. The Cork-Knights volunteer department told the county last week it could no longer staff the fire station at 5302 W Thonotosassa Road.

All three units are now covered by Fire Rescue's career personnel, said Chief Ron Rogers.

The change comes on the heels of an audit that asked Hillsborough County to reassess using six volunteer firefighter associations because of costs and questions over the qualifications and experience levels of volunteer firefighters.

The audit also found financial breeches by two organizations, Cork-Knights and Dover-Turkey Creek, which could not produce the tax records required of nonprofits.

Funding was recently yanked for both of those groups.

Then last week, Fire Rescue officials told the rest of the volunteer associations not to count on future funding. The county is "conducting a thorough review of the contracts and audit findings," County Administrator Mike Merrill told commissioners in a memo Monday.

Each association had a $49,950 annual contract with the county, which expired Sept. 30.

Even if they do get funding, volunteer units face new spending limitations. County executives recently asked attorneys whether the contract with the professional firefighters union permitted expenditures of public money on stipends for volunteer firefighters, Rogers said.

The answer was no.

Mark Curtis, president of the Dover-Turkey Creek unit, said in a letter to commissioners that Rogers has been trying to put the volunteer units out of business and is succeeding.

"It is with the current Fire Chief Ron Rogers and his lack of respect that is the catalyst for our departure," Curtis wrote in the letter.

Rogers said he didn't set out to target the volunteer units. "The reality is it's part of the audit and it's taking a look at everything we're doing," he said.

Two more volunteer fire companies in Hillsborough close 10/01/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 1, 2012 10:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

    National

    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”