Allegations against volunteer firefighters shock many

One day after a handful of Ellis County volunteer firefighters were arrested in connection with an aggravated sexual assault, people with ties to the emergency services district are speaking out, saying they cannot believe what has happened. 

Five volunteer firefighters face aggravated sexual assault charges and a sixth person faces a charge for improper photography or visual recording.

The alleged incident, which occurred at the Emergency Service District Number 6 Volunteer Fire Department in Waxahachie on Jan. 20, 2015, involved the firefighters using a chorizo sausage to sodomize a trainee.

The arrest warrant affidavit states the trainee told authorities the firefighters looked for a broomstick before deciding to use the sausage in the assault, during which the trainee was held down.

Richard Rozier is the former president of the board over ESD 6 volunteer firefighters.

"You have a sense of shock that something like this could've happened or would've happened or the people that maybe involved, I didn't know them well, but I knew some of the folks involved and that they would participate in something like this, sure…yeah, it was very shocking," said Rozier.

FOX 4 spoke by phone with a former volunteer firefighter at ESD 6 who said that there was hazing, ridicule and embarrassment while he was there, but nothing like this.

"It's definitely a party atmosphere there…a definite lack of professionalism," said paramedic firefighter Tom Egan.

Egan remembers when he joined up with the ESD #6 Volunteer Fire Department in 2012. He left after two years and he says he recalls the hazing that went along with it.

"It was always just, you know, ridicule, embarrassment…nothing physical, though," said Egan.

At least two of the board members from ESD #6 met with an attorney just to figure out what their legal responsibilities are.

Bill Gilliland, an ESD #6 board member for the past 15 years, told FOX 4 by phone, "We're ashamed this happened, and can't even imagine why it happened."

Gilliland said some of the volunteer firefighters from the firehouse went to West right after the explosion to help.

He said, "I hope this doesn't overshadow all the good work we' very done for the citizens of this district."

At the fire chief's home, FOX 4 was told he was not there, and we were ordered off the property.             

The victim's family told FOX 4 that they want to talk, but have been asked by Texas Rangers not to speak publicly just yet.

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