District Fire Chief Resigns

By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer

White Pine County District Fire Chief John Shearman turned in a letter of resignation to the White Pine County Commission last week. Shearman’s resignation is effective Aug. 9.

Shearman confirmed turning in a letter of resignation via email. A meeting was scheduled on Thursday for the County Commission to discuss accepting the letter of resignation as well as what steps the County will take next.

Both County Commissioners and Shearman declined to comment before Thursday’s meeting.

The County Commission hired Shearman earlier this year after interviewing three candidates: Shearman, Thomas Hyatt and Robert Nelson. The Commission voted unanimously to hire Shearman.

“If we go through with this cooperation/consolidation process, the demand on (emergency medical services) is much greater than on fire,” Commissioner Mike Lemich said during the meeting. “I would support him because he might be able to upgrade the area of EMS.”

County Commissioners Richard Howe expressed that Hyatt was his top choice during discussions about the candidates.

“In his interview process he was up front,” Howe said during the meeting. “He was knowledgeable, he also had the most education. His demeanor as he approached every question was 100 percent.”

“He was calm. He would be, in my opinion, a person that every volunteer could call and speak to at any time and he would be responsive. He’s just to me higher and above every other candidate.”

A closed personnel session was scheduled for last week, but canceled because issues concerning Shearman must be discussed in a public meeting.

Shearman told The Ely Times he did not know what issues were planning on being discussed. Someone close to the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity said there is good cause from multiple incidents and that “I will not be sad to see him go though.”

This is not the first time Shearman turned in a letter of resignation.

Shearman resigned from his job as Director of the Southern Idaho Regional Communications Center in March of 2009. He was suspended with pay prior to turning in his resignation earlier that year.

Shearman was also previously fired from a job in Texas. According to a report by the Poppino Times-News, Shearman addressed the firing “I was told to be involved in (a) wrongful act. After refusing, I was fired.”

Since being hired, Shearman said he’s been looking to get to know all those involved in the fire and EMS programs as well as testing equipment to make sure they are up to code.

“I’m very proud of everybody I work with in my department,” Shearman said last week. “I don’t know what the issues were for today, so I can’t comment on that. I’m grateful for everyone I work with. It takes a tremendous amount to be a professional in this business and it’s extremely important to appreciate what people give of their time away from their families, sometimes their work and when they’re called to the line of duty. They’re contributing to the community. There’s no price to put on that. I don’t think it’s smoothed out yet because of the amount of change there is. It’s not going to be quick. I do believe that with the right support and backing, this can happen.”

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