Spring City halts fire service - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Spring City halts fire service

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SPRING CITY, TN. (WRCB) -- Garage doors of Spring City's Volunteer Fire Department are down after a state investigation found compliance issues.

The city mayor says she was caught off guard by the notice.

Mary Sue Garrison says, "It was just an unfair situation here, that the fire department was caught in."

The Tennessee Fire Marshall's Office says Spring City's former chief, Jay Wright, didn't complete mandatory training dating back to 2008.

It also states the department didn't properly file incident reports and didn't renew the fire department's certification.

Garrison says city leaders never knew.

"The fact that there is a weak link in their communication networks and elected officials were not in that loop," she says.

The city isn't completely unprotected. A deal with surrounding fire departments, like one in Wolf Creek, means water will get to the flames.

Rhea County Manager George Thacker says he asked the Rhea County Fire Department to step up and fill the gap. 

"I asked, 'could they protect the city along with the county', and they said, 'no problem'. So I think we have that under control," Thacker says.

Garrison says the city insurance rates shouldn't hike up right away, as long as they maintain updates with the state.

She says there is no excuse for this situation.

"The information we have on file from the state indicates yes, he should have known his certification was in jeopardy," Garrison says.

"We all help each other through this," Thacker says. "It's just another thing in place and actually, it is a good thing."

The city is having a special meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to appoint a new fire chief.

The county will cover until the city is back in compliance, which Garrison hopes is as early as Friday.

View documents sent to Spring City by the State of Tennessee here.

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