WASHINGTON, Ill. — The Washington Fire Department Board will not renew Fire Chief Mike Vaughn’s contract after it expires in July, a move that has angered firefighters and paramedics within the department.
In response to the loss of their chief, the firefighters and paramedics have started a petition for presentation at the first July meeting of Washington’s safety committee, in the hope that the city will consider taking over the department, dissolving the board and retaining Vaughn. Currently, the Washington Fire Department is considered a private organization that contracts with the city of Washington.
The board voted June 10 not to offer Vaughn another contract when his current one expires at the end of July, ending his six-year tenure as the Fire Department’s first full-time chief. Four of the board commissioners voted in favor of letting the contract expire with the final commissioner abstaining. Vaughn was awarded the Firefighter’s Medal of Valor last month during the 21st annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial Ceremony in Springfield.