City of Howardwick sues own fire department

Updated: Apr. 23, 2019 at 8:07 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Concerns over title transfers and insurance lead the City of Howardwick to file a lawsuit against the volunteer fire department that protects it.

In a recent lawsuit, the City of Howardwick contends a former city secretary improperly transferred the titles of three fire trucks and an ambulance to the Howardwick Volunteer Fire Department instead of to the city.

After filing the suit, the city obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent the department from using the fire trucks, saying the vehicles could not be insured through the city without the titles.

The city and volunteer fire department reached an agreement: The temporary restraining order would continue until the department obtained insurance on the fire trucks and provided proof to the city.

The fire department has since obtained the insurance, so firefighters can use the vehicles... but more issues could arise.

That’s because the lawsuit is seeking punitive damages against the department, sufficient to punish it and prevent this from happening again

“I was pretty upset about it because the fire department actually cares for a lot of people out there,” said the fire departments public information officer, Coy Cooper. “We have a great fire department, we have a great town, we have great residents and our only purpose is to make sure those residents live in safety.”

Cooper said the department now fears it will lose recently obtained funds it uses to protect the city.

“It looks like the grant money that we’re gonna receive and all the donations that we get from fine residents are gonna have to get us an attorney to battle this out,” he said.

He added that this will not affect the way they serve the community.

“We will pursue this and we will continue to protect the town of Howardwick at all costs,” said Cooper. “We will not let the residents down, we will not let the community down. The community really brings us great support.”

In a statement, the City of Howardwick said it has a responsibility to protect its assets.

Due to pending litigation, the city did not make any additional comments.

You can view the full statement below:

You can view the full lawsuit below:

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