Some Augusta Commissioners are cooling talks about firing fire chief

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News12 at six o'clock/ 4/23/14

Augusta,Ga (WRDW)------More Augusta Commissioners are coming forward trying to cool talks about firing Richmond County Fire Chief Chris James. Two city leaders have a warning about terminating someone without following city policy.

Two city leaders are trying to put out the flames for calls to get rid of Fire chief Chris James. "I think that's all premature to discuss terminating someone at this point," said Commissioner Donnie Smith.

"Well if I didn't want to be diplomatic I'd say this commission needs to be terminated. All of our governing rules have been violated, " said Commissioner Bill Lockett.

In a more than 100 page binder, Commissioner Joe Jackson lists what he calls a number of problems since Chief James took over. The first on the list deal with dozens of expired air cylinders at several fire stations last year.

The fire department borrowed more than 50 oxygen tanks from Fort Gordon. "What concerns me the most is the allegations that we don't have proper equipment in the event of an emergency," said Commissioner Donnie Smith.

"The fire chief is what we refer to as a third line supervisor he reports to the acting deputy administrator. If it gets out of the administrator's hand then it goes to the Public Safety Committee," said Commissioner Bill Lockett.

Another concern Jackson stated is how Chief James dealt with Gold cross EMS Service emergency response times and who should be the first agency to respond in an emergency. The packet is hundreds of pages long full of allegations and what Commissioner Jackson calls evidence.

"No I didn't read it all, because after reading a few pages my eyes got a little red. I was so mad after reading some of the allegations," said Commissioner Lockett.

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