LIBERTY Chief to train replacement
Trustees had given the chief an ultimatum in September.
LIBERTY -- An emotional Robert Catchpole told Liberty Township trustees he would stay on as fire chief until a replacement is found, and then he would move down to the rank of captain.
During a special meeting Thursday afternoon, Catchpole told trustees he would help train his replacement.
Trustees obliged by passing a resolution to authorize the township administrator to begin advertising for the position of fire chief.
"I'm staying on simply because they need someone to stay on until they fill it," said Catchpole, who has been with the department 15 years, serving as captain for a year. He was named chief in February 1998.
Background: Trustee Jack Simon previously said he and township administrator Darlene St. George met with Catchpole in September and gave him three months to straighten out the fire department or step down.
He said the main fire station on Logan Avenue "was literally a mess."
Catchpole said trustees offered to let him step down in August.
"I believe the trustees would have allowed me to stay on as long as I wanted," said Catchpole, who mentioned he wants to spend more time with his family. "It was a hard decision to come to, but I think it's the right one."
He said he can actually make more money working as captain thanks to overtime compensation, which he doesn't get as chief.