The city of Cumberland has named a new fire chief in the wake of a Kentucky State Police investigation into a case of theft by deception of cold checks at the Cumberland Fire Department.
During a meeting of the city council on Tuesday, Mayor Carl Hatfield introduced the new chief, Doug “Red” Yaden, to the panel.
“I’d like to introduce you to our new fire chief,” said Hatfield. “I think most of the council members know you since you’ve been with the fire department for many years.”
After being introduced to the council, Yaden gave a brief report on his department.
“We’re right now in the process of buying more gear. We’ve got $5,300 off of a state grant,” said Yaden. “That’s the biggest thing.”
Hatfield asked Yaden how many people were currently working with the department.
“At the present time we have 17,” said Yaden. “That’s better than we have had.”
According to Yaden, the state requires two thirds of the people working with the fire department to be certified.
“Just about everybody we’ve got now is certified,” said Yaden.
Yaden mentioned he had been working with the fire department since 1960, giving him more than 50 years experience in the field.
Yaden verified he would be giving the council monthly reports.
The council did not address the current KSP investigation into the Cumberland Fire Department or former Fire Chief Fess Eldridge, who according to previous reports was recently suspended.
Hatfield stated after the meeting that Yaden’s appointment is permanent and Eldridge will not be returning to his position as Cumberland Fire Chief.
When asked about the investigation after the meeting, council members Charles Raleigh and Carolyn Elliott had no comment due to the ongoing investigation.
In other activity:
* The council voted to renew insurance coverage for city employees;
* A motion was made and passed requiring all city employees who drive any type of city equipment to possess a valid driver’s license.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org