A Holmen Area Fire Board member is raising concerns over the recent termination of two of its firefighters.
Rolly Bogert says the reason they were fired by Chief Buck Manley was for expressing concerns about the fire department, to people outside the fire department. In particular, Bogert himself.
“He (Manley) terminated one of them for insubordination because he came to talk with me,” Bogert said. “The second one was the same thing. It was, ‘Circumventing the chain of command.’”
The timing of the firefighters’ dismissal and their level of experience led Bogert to be even more concerned.
“We were down, at that point, to 12 or 14 firefighters,” Bogert said. “The two had all of their certifications, they were instructors and they could do anything that needed to be done.”
One of the firemen will be appealing his termination to the fire board Monday at the Town of Holland town hall.
Bogert feels the two did nothing wrong.
“They went up the chain of command,” Bogert said. “I didn’t tell them what to do. I think it’s freedom of speech. If they feel like they need to speak with someone out of the station, I’m not going to tell them no.”
Manley says the issue is between the fire board and the firefighters but did not wish to comment further.