Hampton appointed Fairview fire chief

Mari-Alice Jasper | Eagle Post

Qualified voters checked in to receive their ballots during a community meeting Friday at the Fairview Volunteer Fire Department.

The recently elected Fairview Fire Department Board of Directors appointed Mark Hampton as the department's fire chief and Travis Martin as the assistant fire chief.

The decision was made Monday during a board meeting.

Cindy O'Bryan, chairman of the board, said from now on, all positions will be subject to a six-month probation period. After the six-month mark, the board will vote to decide if the person should continue in their position.

The board is responsible for appointing a fire chief and assistant fire chief, O'Bryan said. The board sought out Hampton and Martin to fill these two positions.

"Hampton has a lot of experience under his belt," O'Bryan said. "He has been at Fairview since 2012-13. I don't know if he has been an active firefighter that whole time though."

Hampton also serves on the Todd County Rescue Squad, she said.

Martin has been with the department a long time too, she said. During the June 13 community meeting when members voted to restructure the department's board, Martin agreed to serve as interim fire chief.

All officers of the organization, including fire chief and assistant fire chief, must be at least 21 years old and members of the general membership in good standing, according to the Fairview Fire Department's bylaws.

Also in the bylaws, there are two forms of membership in the fire department, community membership and firefighter membership. The combination of the two is called the general membership.

Although neither Hampton or Martin live within the department's district area, they qualify to serve in these positions because they are active firefighters at the department, O'Bryan said.

Fairview Fire Department's fire district includes Christian and Todd counties.

"Officers serve for a period of one year and may be reconfirmed in their appointments until they are formally relieved from their duties or submit their resignation in writing to the Chairman of the Board," according to the bylaws.

O'Bryan said the board is actively working to rebuild the department. During their first meeting, the board also discussed new bylaws, assets and liabilities, and inventory, she said.

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"Our job is to move forward, not to keep looking at the past," O'Bryan said. "Otherwise we won't get anywhere."

New board members

During a community meeting Friday at the fire department, members unanimously voted to restructure the board. O'Bryan was the only member of the previous board who attended the meeting. She said Mike Tino-Cunniffe, former chairman of the board, resigned earlier that day.

Prior to Tino-Cunniffe's resignation, the other three members of the board also resigned.

This is the second time this year the board has been restructured.

"When the talk of a possible merger with Pembroke Fire Department that the community wasn't even made aware of ... the community wasn't happy about that," O'Bryan said. "When we had a community meeting after that (merger) meeting, (the community) decided they wanted to restructure and have people from the community on the board. When I say community, I mean people who live within our fire district."

Drivers' licenses and memberships were checked to ensure all those casting ballots were qualified voters. Qualified voters are dues-paying members and the department's firefighters, O'Bryan said.

Before the election, 13 nominations were taken from members.

After counting the votes, it was determined that members elected the following new board members: O'Bryan, Mark Cunningham, Bobby Outland, Patrick Collins and Mervin Martir.

O'Bryan said the board members will appoint a secretary and treasurer.

According to the bylaws, directors on the board "shall hold office for a term of two years and until his/her successor accepts appointment to the board at the scheduled board meeting following the annual meeting."

However, O'Bryan said during the last restructure process, it was decided directors would hold one- and two-year terms until the November election.

"That may be the way they decide to keep it until this November or next November," she said. "The community will have a say in that."

Looking forward, O'Bryan said she hopes the fire department and board will continue to grow and serve the needs of the Fairview community.

Reach Mari-Alice Jasper at 270-887-3262 or mjasper@kentuckynewera.com.

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