Changes at Newcastle Fire Department

The City of Newcastle has a new, acting fire chief.

You may remember a few weeks ago we told you that the city's Fire Chief Calvin Daigle resigned from his position.

It came after members of the community outlined financial spending which left the department with little to no money.  Now we've learned that Newcastle Mayor Stephen Sosinski has taken over the role as fire chief after that eventful meeting almost two weeks ago.

Since then he's been working double duties, focusing mostly on restructuring the department.

News Channel 6 asked Mayor Sosinski how many firefighters that were under Daigle's leadership are still with the department, his response, none.

That's the biggest change the department has seen since Daigle's resignation, the elimination of seven firefighters.  Even with them gone, the department has managed to function.
 
"We have probably another eight that joined, previous firemen, and we also have some new
applications in that we will review at the next meeting.  So we're staffed," said Sosinski.

But right now that's the least of their worries.

"Like I said that lady gave us $75,000 in her will and that's down to $265," said Pooch Williams.

Williams is a 20-plus year veteran of the department, he was the one who unveiled the spending habits of Daigle.  He found thousands and thousands of dollars unaccounted for.

"There was a lot of money spent that should have been saved, reckless spending I would call it," said Williams.

Money on a suburban, that they're trying to sell, and money on patches that will never be used.  So to make sure money doesn't just walk away, they plan on redesigning their bylaws.

"We will have safe guards.  We will closely monitor donations and expenditures," said Sosinski.

So far they say the community has treated the change with kindness by donating money, items, and passing on words of encouragement.

"Mostly people are just stopping by frequently and stopping in the department and pledging their support," he said.

The Newcastle Fire Department will move on as a changed department, but one that's excited as ever to battle fires.

We asked former Chief Daigle his thoughts about the change, he didn't have much to say except that he is no longer involved with the department anymore.

Because of all the community support, $2,400 have been donated to the Newcastle Volunteer Fire Department.

Crystal Hall News Channel 6