Jenks Firefighters Union Address Concerns With Chief At City Council Meeting

Monday, October 21st 2013, 10:49 pm
By: News On 6

The Jenks Firefighters Union wants Fire Chief Gary Friedel out.

Last week, they voted they have "no confidence" in the chief, and Monday night, they heard about what to do next.

There were a lot of threats thrown around at the city council meeting Monday night. Most people probably expected fireworks to spark between the fire chief and the union, but there were basically grenades thrown amongst the councilors.

The majority of the Jenks firefighters union members were at the city council meeting. Last week, all 17 members voted "no confidence" in Chief Gary Friedel.

Monday, they asked the council to investigate the conduct of the chief. But before that, the city attorney warned, if the union does this, the city will file a complaint with the state for unfair labor practices by the union.

The union claims, since Friedel took over six years ago, there has been a high turnover, he's depleted the volunteer program, and he's neglected to provide proper training to first year firefighters.

The chief gave us a book defending the claims against him, saying, since he's been in charge, all probationary firefighters have completed a nationally recognized training.

He also said he has revamped the volunteer program based on staff recommendations.

Multiple councilors were upset that the union did not follow the proper chain of command for filing a personnel complaint.

Jenks Firefighters Union President Nick Morgans said, "We had safety concerns with the safety of our firefighters and also the safety of our citizens, and we just wanted to address these concerns and inform the council of the concerns that we had."