TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Wabash Township Fire Chief Mike Francis said he has left the department. However, terms of his departure are unclear as trustee Jennifer Tiesing said Francis was dismissed.
Township Lawyer Jason Ramsland released the following statement:
"I can confirm for you that he was dismissed from his position as Wabash Township Fire Chief. Regarding the factual circumstances, I and the trustee decline further comment on the matter."
Francis told News 18 he verbally resigned at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. He said, per Tiesing, it was "time for a change." Francis went on to say there is no animosity between the two and he understands the situation. He said he is always willing to help the department in the future.
"I love the fire department and the community," Francis said. "I truly understand her decision."
Tiesing said the township is looking to improve services to its residents in the "most cost effective way." She said an announcement about this plan would be made in the next few weeks.
Francis served with the department for 27 years, including nine as chief. Ed Ward, a full-time firefighter within the department, will serve as the interim.
Tiesing, a democrat, was elected trustee in November. In the same election, Francis lost his campaign for Wabash Township Board, claiming 19-percent of the vote.
Related: Full 2018 Election Results
Wabash Township is a volunteer department serving more than 59,000 residents of Tippecanoe County, according to the 2010 census. It is the most populated of the county's 13 townships.
If you're interested in volunteering with the fire department, you can call (765) 463-6664.