According to Charles Tatum, the attorney for the city, the two groups agreed to split the equipment owned by the department, and the independent volunteer fire department vacated the building inside the city.
The new city-run fire department will take ownership of the building and will begin running fire and rescue calls within the city and the police jurisdiction as soon as they are issued a tone by E-911. The chief is Rodney Morgan and the assistant chief is Heather Adams, according to Tatum.
The Sipsey Volunteer Fire Department will take calls outside the city and jurisdiction, although the independent volunteer department will be responding to all calls until the new tone is issued. Tatum said the parties are hopeful that this is the beginning of the two departments working together for the good of the community.
“We made sure that the people had fire protection while the transition was going on. That was a priority for everyone,” Tatum said. “They agreed to assist each other and work together to serve the people down there.”
The agreement was brokered by the parties and overseen and approved by Circuit Judge Jerry Selman.
The independent department was represented by Russ Robertson, who was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.