Newcastle Fire Chief Speaks Out

The City of Newcastle is divided over the way the Fire Chief is running the department. Now, the fight is getting ugly.

"I think somehow, even on his own, he should step down," says the Newcastle City Secretary Darlton Dyer.

Firefighter Adam Jones sees it differently, "I think he is very capable of handling the department."

"Our fire department, the Newcastle Fire Department is 100% behind Calvin Daigle, " agrees Phyllis, another Firefighter.

Commissioner John C. Bullock sees it differently, "If I was Calvin, I would probably try and step down as chief and let someone else who is older and more mature take over the reins."

Chief Calvin Daigle has an answer for the naysayers. He says,"There's no reason that I can't operate a small town fire department just like this one and have done for the past 2 1/2 years quite effectively."

In those years, Chief Daigle says he has improved the fire department, by acquiring more fire vehicles, and getting the firefighters trained.

Even after seeing the many certifications proving service, the fire chief is on a fine line with the county, and is now down to his final strike. One of the many points of contention is the purchase of a SUV. A purchase that some say prove the Chief has too much authority. He doesn't agree.

"I myself was given the authority by this department to make any purchases for the department that is needed," says Chief Daigle, "I didn't just borrow money, this department knew what was going on."

Chief Daigle showed NewsChannel 6 some of the documentation proving that most members were in accordance with his spending practices. But some say the documents are forged.

The Chief claims that all the controversy is because of a couple people in the department.

Daigle said, "How am I supposed to operate a fire department and direct my firefighters if one of them, who claims to be my Assistant Chief, steps out and says, 'I'm not going to listen to you and if you don't like it, sue me?' "

The Assistant Fire Chief is also the town's Mayor.

Newschannel 6 spoke to the Mayor and he says all the Chief's claims are so ridiculous that they made him laugh.

The Fire Department will hold a meeting this Sunday at 5:00pm in the Volunteer Station. All Newcastle residents are encouraged to attend.

Mary Moloney Newschannel 6