The North Stone County Northeast Barry County Fire Protection District met July 17, for its regular monthly meeting and to discuss an altercation between a property owner and a firefighter. Present were Leon Cunningham, Mike Kaup, Jesse Smith and John Mackey. Absent was John Coones.
Aurora Advertiser - Aurora, MO
Posted Aug. 4, 2012 @ 9:00 am
Posted Aug. 4, 2012 @ 9:00 am
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The North Stone County Northeast Barry County Fire Protection District met July 17, for its regular monthly meeting and to discuss an altercation between a property owner and a firefighter.
Present were Leon Cunningham, Mike Kaup, Jesse Smith and John Mackey. Absent was John Coones.
The board was notified that a firefighter was assaulted while fighting a grassland fire in response to a mutual aid call from Aurora Rural Fire Department.
Lex Pearson, a volunteer firefighter, was allegedly struck in the throat by a property owner (who is being unnamed until formal charges) while fighting a grassland fire on the property.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:40 p.m. at 20507 State Highway TT.
Pearson went to the hospital. The board was presented with the bill for $757.
He still is having difficulty with talking, etc, according to the board minutes.
A police report dated June 27, lists the incident as assault third degree/injury/aggravated.
Kaup moved that Cunningham and Pearson visit with the district's attorney Mark Rundel regarding the incident and to see what the board can do to support Pearson and to see if possible
civil suit would be in order.
The board approved the motion unanimously.
The meeting minutes reflect the board publicly told the firefighters present they felt this was totally uncalled for and that they fully supported Pearson regarding any legal action that he desired to pursue to insure justice was achieved.
The board also is noted to say members would do so for any firefighter who was placed in this type of situation.
The State Fire Marshall's Office felt that RSMo. Chapter 565.082 and 565.083 specifically addresses this type of endangerment to emergency workers (volunteer firefighters).
Members instructed the treasurer to immediately check with the workers comp insurance company and insure it has the information it needs in order to try and cover medical cost in the instance the property owner was not charged with paying the medical for Pearson's injury to his throat.
In new business, Mackey moved to accept the financial report as submitted and to pay bills as presented. Smith seconded the motion with all present voting in the
Kaup reminded all that the budget was very tight and the district needed to hold down expenses and limit facility upgrades.
At the August 14 meeting, the district will be reviewing the budget for next year and will be holding the levy hearing.
In other business, the board placed Austin Tate, Jimmy Swint and Jason Keller, as new firefighters, on 90-day probation
Tate will be in Sation 21, while Swint and Keller will serve in Station 23.
The board moved Daniel Reavis from cadet status to firefighter status.