Fire department shut down for 48 hours

April 16, 2009 at 5:30 PM

MINNEOLA, Fla., April 16 (UPI) -- City officials in Minneola, Fla., said the fire department has been temporarily shut down due to infighting among firefighters.

Officials said the Minneola Fire Department was on a 48-hour freeze, scheduled to end at 2 p.m. Friday, during which time fires and medical emergencies in the city would be handled by Lake County and Clermont firefighters, WESH-TV, Orlando, Fla., reported Thursday.

"We can't have tension in the fire department. It can't happen," Minneola Mayor David Yeager said.

Yeager said the city's nine paid firefighters, 11 volunteers and the fire chief must find a way to get along for the department to survive. He said temporarily shutting down the department was suggested by the city manager.

"(We need to) figure (out) what's going on and get to the bottom of this. I'm behind him 100 percent. He said stand down. Let's stand down and make this work," Yeager said. "I think when you have an issue you need to nip it and make sure you get to the bottom of it. A bigger issue is having a fire department that's dysfunctional and going around and not having excellent service."

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