What can I say? Over a week has passed since this was brought to the chief’s attention and no response.

Repeatedly, the public in general, and I specifically, have been advised to contact the chief directly if we have a concern or question about the fire department.

Call or write the chief, I am told, and give him a chance to answer your concerns. After all, ‘we have nothing to hide’ the defenders say.

Last week, I tried their advice to see how it would work.

The Contact

On Tuesday, January 18th, I sent Chief Church a letter by email outlining the lie foisted upon the public through the official SKF&R website Operations page (Paragraph 3, line 2) wherein it described the Honor Guard as being members who, and I quote directly from the official SKF&R website,  “volunteer their time and financial support”.

I brought to his attention that Honor Guard member Barry Hassell approved the text late in 2008, even though at the time he had received over $2000 in overtime pay for his ‘volunteer’ services.

After ‘review’ and approval by FF Hassell, the false information on this page remained on public view for over 2 years, with tacit approval from the Chief and his administrative staff. During which time the Honor Guard continued to cost the public over $8,000 in overtime pay, plus thousands of dollars in lodging, travel and meals.

The Result

Fast action ensued. It took only one day for the page to be removed, sanitized of the word volunteer and re-listed. On the Where’s Waldo theme, visit the new and improved page, scroll down to the Honor Guard section at the bottom of the page.  Can you find the word ‘volunteer’?

Also, while you are there, apparently the proud members of the Honor Guard no longer deserve mention on the official web site. The original page proudly identified the current members, but Chief Church saw to it that they now serve in obscurity.

The chief has yet to respond to the letter I sent and I am not holding out much hope he will.

The Conclusions

The system seems to have worked quite well in at least one aspect.

By his silence, I conclude a cover-up in the making.

What’s Next

Let’s say we see what the State Auditors Office has to say.


The SKF&R website apparently copied the description of an Honor Guard from Wikipedia, which also describes the members as Volunteers.

The Chiefs Reply

Read it here!

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