Webber board takes no action despite complaints over dismissal of firefighter
WEBBER TWP. — No action is being taken by the Webber Township Board following the firing of a member of the Webber Twp. Fire Department, after a request by the dismissed fire fighter was brought forth.
The firefighter in question, George Galbraith Jr., was dismissed from the department only a few days after his father, George Galbraith Sr., and mother Kathy Galbraith, were also let go.
The occurred after George Jr. was instructed to sweep the hallways of the fire house by Captain Calvin Allen. This was after George Jr. had already begun to after being told to by a fellow firefighter. George Jr. then made a remark to Allen, which Allen found insubordinate, and was called into the office of Webber Fire Chief Administrator Aaron Summers soon after. While entering the room, Allen and George Jr. collided in the doorway, which Allen maintained was intentional, and called it assault. This lead to an argument and the dismissal of George Jr. from the fire department.
George Jr. was told to leave the premises, but refused since he was driven there that day by a fellow firefighter and the firehouse was a public building. Summers, Allen and Assistant Chief Al Daily then forcefully ejected George Jr. from the building, which the Galbraith family told the board resulted in a sprained knee, possible torn ligaments in George Jr.'s leg and a trip to the hospital.
"Three grown men threw my 19-year-old son out into the parking lot," said Kathy.
The firing was discussed at a special meeting of the Webber Twp. Board, a portion of which was closed to the public so private personnel information regarding George Jr. could be discussed.
This incident has reopened a can of worms regarding the Webber Fire Department. For several years, the department was divided by infighting and feuds, which many hoped would end with the demotion of Cathy Harvey as chief and the appointment of Summers as head of the department. Harvey noted she, as well as her son and all three members of the Galbraith family, those closest to Harvey in the department, have been fired since then.
"They're trying to get rid of what they called 'the A group,' or those who were close to Cathy," remarked Kathy. "This is being done by a man (Summers) who is not even qualified to run this department."
Harvey, her son Ken, George Sr. and Kathy were all fired due to not showing up to the mandatory weekly fire meetings. They claim this was inappropriate since absences due to family or medical reasons, or if they are working at a second job, are allowed, so long as other members of the department know about it ahead of time, which they say was the case.
Both Summers and Webber Twp Supervisor Tony Gagliardo declined to comment on this story.