Volunteer fire dept. to continue under interim chief amid hazing scandal

An Ellis County volunteer fire department involved in a hazing scandal will continue under an interim fire chief for now.

The decision comes after eight members were arrested. Five of them are accused of sexual assault while hazing a recruit.

A sixth firefighter was arrested, accused of recording the incident, and the fire chief and assistant fire chief were arrested for allegedly tampering with a witness.

Ellis County leaders gathered to talk about the future of the fire department Monday night, but the Board of Emergency Services District 6 held off on doing so.

The option of closing the volunteer fire department was on the agenda. Instead, they will keep it open for at least the next 90 days.

The interim chief who has been appointed, Wes Curry, is the fire chief of the nearby Forreston Fire Department. He said they're going to try to start over and rebuild the department.

During public comment at Monday's meeting, more than one firefighter from the department, not linked to the scandal, told the board they wanted to continue with the department.

But not everyone was willing to give the department a chance to move on. One resident stood up and told the board that unless they're willing to build and staff multiple fire stations and buy millions more in equipment, he believes they need to shut ESD 6 down.

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