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St. Robert fire chief resigns Friday
St. Robert fire chief resigns Friday

St. Robert Fire Chief Chuck Fraley shows off a new engine in May of last year.
SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Jan. 7, 2011) — Fire Chief Chuck Fraley has resigned after eight years as head of the St. Robert Fire Department for reasons that have not been released.

The resignation happened Friday and was voluntary, St. Robert City Administrator Alan Clark said Friday afternoon.

“He did (give his reasons) but that’s between him, me and the mayor. He volunteered to resign, he explained those reasons, and the mayor accepted those reasons,” Clark said. “We will make a determination of who the permanent chief is going to be on Monday. Right now my recommendation is going to be Assistant Chief Doug Cage because that is going to be the natural transition of things, but I do not have that authority.”

Clark said he doesn’t know Fraley’s plans for future employment.

This isn’t the first time Fraley has resigned from a public position. He served as a member of the Pulaski County Sewer District board until last year when former sewer board chairman Mark Cortesini said he should resign due to missing many meetings. Cortesini was then asked to resign by his vice-chairman, Gary Porter, who is now the sewer board chairman.

Unlike Fraley’s full-time status, Cage is a volunteer firefighter. He currently serves as the pastor of First Christian Church of Waynesville and is filling in as interim chief until the final decision is made on Monday who should be the department’s permanent fire chief.

The St. Robert Fire Department is the only one of Pulaski County’s seven civilian fire agencies to be under the control of a city. The county’s other firefighters are all part of one of six rural fire districts which have their own elected boards and most are staffed solely by volunteers; the Waynesville and St. Robert firefighters both a mix of part-time and full-time personnel.

As city employees, Clark said he will need to be personally aware of any personnel actions in the fire department.

“Department heads do not make any in-house personnel changes unless it has gone through me,” Clark said. “Anything dealing with personnel does not happen unless I have been made aware of it and I have approved it. Our department heads do a very good job and they don’t do things unless I know about it and the mayor does too. That includes new hires, promoting people, lateral moves from one department to another, firing people, terminating people, or demoting people.”

St. Robert firefighters have already responded to several calls today and Clark said emergency response was not impaired by the unexpected resignation.

“At no time, especially when it comes to emergency services, police and fire, will the public safety be left unaddressed,” Clark said. “In all of our departments, we always have supervisors in case a department head is gone.”

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