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Volunteer Firefighters Challenge Chief

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GOSHEN, Ore. — A growing feud in the Goshen Rural Fire District is putting volunteer firefighters and the chief at odds.
The Goshen Volunteer Firefighters Association wrote a letter to its board declaring a hostile work environment.
Volunteer firefighters say they’ve been frustrated for years with the chief’s leadership.
So they say they’re finally taking action.
In the letter they wrote to the board the Goshen Volunteer Firefighters Association requested a third party to mediate and investigate the situation.
The Special District’s Association of Oregon stepped in to speak with the firefighters this week.
But Goshen Fire Chief David Wolting says he has no knowledge of any concerns with his leadership.
He says he believes in fairness and tries to show the volunteer firefighters they’re appreciated.
“Would you say that you’re too tough on your staff. Both volunteers and paid? I wouldn’t say that but that’s my opinion and there could be contrary opinions to that,” said Chief Wolting.
“Many people felt intimidated or coerced on a variety of levels and that along with that was a vote of no confidence to the chief,” said Aaron Gibbens, Goshen Volunteer Firefighters Association Secretary.
Gibbens says they won’t go into specifics on any incidents.
He says they’ve had a number of resignations in connection with this situation.
But Chief Wolting says he’s never received any notices.
Both parties hope to receive the report of the investigation next week.
After they receive that information they hope to meet with the board to discuss the next steps.
A member of the Pleasant Hill Fire District reached out to us.
Chief Wolting also oversees that district.
The volunteer says they’re pleased with Wolting’s leadership.

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