STRASBURG, Colo. — A whistle-blower with the Strasburg Fire Protection District was fired one day after a 9NEWS report on the maintenance issues plaguing the department’s emergency vehicles.
Brad Jones found out the board removed him from his volunteer firefighting role on Thursday evening. In a letter to Jones, Chief Frank Fields wrote that the fire protection district decided to end its relationship with him effective immediately.
Fields asked Jones to return all equipment before thanking him for his service and wishing him “the best in his future endeavors.”
Jones originally came forward to share concerns about the department's fire trucks and ambulances.
In just August, an ambulance broke down on the highway while transporting crash victims to the hospital, and another died in the bay of a hospital after transporting a patient.
There was also a pump failure on a firetruck that responded to a car fire, and just this past weekend, a firetruck caught fire. The truck was returning to the station when the crew saw flames shooting out of the wheel well.
“We need vehicles for us to do our jobs that are in service and maintained to the highest possible standard,” Jones told 9NEWS in his interview. “Serving on a board of a fire district is certainly a noble calling, but it is not cover for bad behavior.”
Jones also shared concerns about what he saws as a conflict of interest. The fire board’s elected president, Don Sherer, is also a mechanic whose shop holds the contract to maintain Strasburg’s fire vehicles.
“I noticed that there were some serious ethical and organizational issues with the board and in order to bring pressure on the board to do the right thing,” Jones said. “The situation with board president, Donny Sherer, and the vehicle maintenance contract with the district is the worst kept secret in Strasburg.”
At Thursday’s scheduled meeting of the Strasburg Fire Board, Jones said the board members went into executive session. When they returned, a motion was made to fire him. Members voted on and approved the motion.
Jones lives in Denver but has volunteered for Strasburg for years. In 2018, he won the EMS Provider of the Year Award from the district.
Following the board vote, Jones told 9NEWS he'll explore his legal options.
"I'm a former investigative journalist. I've paid my dues on campaigns in the past. I know how dirty government is, and I know how the sausage is made," he told 9NEWS in his previous interview. "I'm unafraid of these men."
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