MCVFD Fire Chief Robert Jones has reportedly backed off Monday’s bombshell announcement that the MCVFD members would be voting to cut off fire services to the City at tonight’s Member meeting (Tuesday, January 16, 2018). Rather than notifying the City directly, Jones chose WFAA Channel 8 to announce his intention to recommend that the MCVFD end fire service to the City, which makes up 1/3 of their fire district, but continue service to the remaining 2/3, which is unincorporated and includes his home.
The Chief’s decision to publicly ambush the City was an escalation of a two-month campaign by the MCVFD and their supporters through the mail, social media and local press to instill fear and panic in M-C citizens that they will lose critical EMS and fire protection in hopes of generating a public outcry against the Mayor and City Council that will force their hand and submit to MCVFD’s 2018 proposed contract for fire services, rather than following through on their agreement to return to all-volunteer fire services.
However, thanks to the Rockwall County Emergency Services Corporation Board, on which M-C Mayor Robert Steinhagen serves, as of October 1, 2017, guaranteed response times by the Rockwall County EMS (ambulance) service inside M-C surpasses the MCVFD’s “strive for” response time by a minute and a half.
The mutual aid agreement for emergency services, which was established in 2011, includes both the City of M-C and the MCVFD, which ensures citizens that if Jones get’s his wish to walk away from serving the taxpayers of M-C that have for the last four years pumped more than seven hundred thousand dollars into the MCVFD, compared to the two hundred seventy thousand paid by the County, neighboring cities like Rockwall & Heath will respond while the City Council established in-city services. Ironically, this would provide citizens with an even faster response time to fires than the MCVFD currently provides.
This is another of the fire chief’s flip-flops that continues to leave the City and its citizens guessing what will happen next.