Odenville firefighter issues statement in support of chief
by Gary Hanner
Aug 11, 2010 | 2299 views |  4 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An Odenville firefighter placed on administrative leave with pay two weeks ago was identified by a fellow firefighter during a Town Council meeting Monday.

Firefighter/paramedic Jared Wyatt read from a prepared statement and the first sentence said, “Mr. Mayor, City Council members, I would like to thank you for being given the opportunity to voice the fire departments’ concerns and opinions regarding Chief (David) Davis.”

Davis was placed on administrative leave by Mayor Rodney “Buck” Christian following an incident in which two premature stillborn fetuses were flushed down a commode at an Odenville residence on or around July 23.

St. Clair County Sheriff Terry Surles said after hearing an allegation that the fetuses were disposed of in a toilet, the Sheriff’s Department started its investigation “by going into the septic tank to recover the bodies.”

Davis was not at the council meeting Monday night.

Wyatt also stated from the prepared statement that every active member gives their full support to Davis and wants him to remain fire chief.

“The guidance, leadership and dedication he has provided to our department, without question, is second to none. His commitment to our community as a whole is an inspiration to every member, both paid and volunteer. He has given to this town more than can ever be repaid. And the only thing asked in return is to allow him to continue serving our community,” Wyatt read.

He said the picture painted by the media, fueled by rumors, had been incomplete, incorrect and misleading.

“We as a department, as well as the Alabama Department of Public Health, who governs the rules and regulations we must abide by, and the State Emergency Medicine Control Committee, who writes the protocols we must follow, have found no rule, regulation or protocol that has been broken by Davis,” Wyatt said. “If we lose Davis as chief, it would be a giant step backward for our department and a huge deprivation to the citizens of Odenville.”

After Wyatt addressed the council Monday, Christian thanked him for his comments and said it would be taken into consideration at the appropriate time.

“For the sake of all involved, I will not discuss a personnel issue publicly,” Christian said after the meeting. “I was asked by Wyatt when he began to address the council if he could reveal the identity of the individual who had been placed on administrative leave. I told him I had chosen not to at this point, and would continue to respect his privacy. However, the name of that individual was revealed when Wyatt presented his comments to the city council.”

No action was taken by the council concerning the matter.

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.

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