Hello. First, please understand that I am not a spokesperson for my township's VFD. However I, along with several other members of our small rural community, are at our collective wits end over the worsening nightmare that is Camp VFD.
Camp VFD Chief and Board President Richard Navarro supports the initiation of this communication, and he will be receiving an electronic copy of it.
Specific details of the incidents plaguing Camp VFD are too numerous to recount via this e-form, and yes, the chronology is years long. Some recurring themes include mismanagement, and a strong possibility of theft of department funds, resources and equipment.
Habitual power struggles within the department have driven off a significant percentage of support from both this department's emergency responders as well as the community which it's meant to serve.
Currently, as of Saturday, July 9, 2011, the township of Camp and surrounding unincorporated areas (most immediately: Fryatt, French Town, Moko, and southern Mammoth Spring) are effectively without First Responder support from Camp VFD.
On the evening of Friday, July 8, 2011, an impromptu meeting was called by the Board of Camp VFD. It is my understanding that there was no established quorum at this meeting, and gauging by the outcome, the Bylaws of this 501(c)(3) were effectively disregarded by whomever called for said meeting. Presumably, this meeting arose from events which occurred on the previous night.
During the evening of Thursday, July 7, 2011, Fulton County experienced a rash of severe thunderstorms. Fulton County dispatch paged Camp VFD out to respond to two separate emergencies north of our township: a downed tree across Hwy 9, and a fire caused by a lightning strike.
During the latter call Chief Navarro found it necessary to dismiss from the scene a Camp firefighter, who had allegedly been drinking. According to Chief Navarro, violence was allegedly inflicted upon him (Chief) by two members of Camp VFD, and a third member allegedly acted as an accessory when the trio sought to leave the scene after the assault. Again, this all occurred Thursday night.
Here's where Friday's board meeting comes into play. Two of the principles involved in the unfortunate events of Thursday night are also board members of Camp VFD. Now the non-quorum board is acting in retaliation upon Chief Navarro for performing his duties correctly, and for pressing appropriate legal charges against his alleged assailants. In an unofficial, non-notarized letter from select board members, presented to Chief Navarro by a uniformed law officer, was a request that Navarro resign from his positions as Board President and Chief within three days, and to surrender to Camp VFD all department owned equipment. This select group of board members also saw fit to have the locks changed on the department's buildings without consulting anyone else. As of now, the Camp area has no department upon which to immediately rely, should an emergency befall any of our residents.
Must the obvious point be belabored? When Area Wide Media was approached a couple of years ago about the threat to public safety posed by the dysfunction within Camp VFD, it was dismissed as irrelevant small town politics. The larger likelihood is that the modest locale of Camp, Arkansas, is not the only place where such abuses of public safety and trust are happening. The microcosm of Camp is simply a smaller-scale reflection of bigger societal ills. Please empower us to help ourselves!
Mr. Navarro is eager to be contacted on this matter. His cell phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment