Owego Fire Department said to be strong after dozens of resignations

By Jillian Marshall

June 2, 2014 Updated Jun 2, 2014 at 11:20 PM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) More than 35 Owego Volunteer firefighter's resignation letters were accepted at the Owego Village Board meeting, but the newly appointed Owego Fire Chief said there is no need for the public to worry.

Daniel Gavin was announced as the new Fire Chief at the meeting.

Gavin said there were more than 20 calls for service over the weekend and the fire department was able to handle all of them without issue.

Last week's resignations stem from frustrations by some firefighters after the village board failed to approve new Standard Operating Guidelines for the department.

"The reasoning they left is their decisions. It's nothing more than that. From what I'm being told it's nothing with our administration, it's just personal beliefs that they want to go elsewhere. Some members actually moved on and resigned because they are moving out of our district," Gavin said.

The board said they needed more time to look over the more than 300-page document before they could approve them.

On Friday, Mayor Kevin Millar said the department would likely have to rely more on help from outside departments because of a shorter staff.

Gavin assured Action News this evening that the department will protect the community without any problems.

"This weekend was typical busy weekend, in one day we handled seven calls, fire and EMS calls, we responded to all the calls, mutual aid was not needed. It's there, it's always been there," Gavin said.

Gavin said of the firefighters who resigned, 95 percent of the gear is turned in.

As for the Standard Operating Guidelines, there is no time line yet as to when the village will adopt them.