Frank Meehling II has decided to step down as Fire Chief of the Chesapeake-Union Township Volunteer Fire Department because of a new ban on firearms for firefighters.
Meehling said the decision came down to a matter of safety and the Union Township trustees informed him last Thursday that they had passed a resolution banning the fire department from carrying firearms. One of his main concerns is when they arrive first on the scene at overdoses or hostile situations they don’t always have law enforcement as back up in some small communities. “I tried to explain to them that I respond at all times of the night and early mornings, as well as my other guys and girls and I didn’t feel safe,” said Meehling.
The trustees and village council said it was a financial matter because the insurance bill would’ve gone up about $2,500 to allow firefighters to conceal carry. Assistant Fire Chief Joey McMaster has taken over as interim chief, and Meehling says he plans to stay on with the fire department, for now, to help with the transition.