Franklin County

Frankfort officials say ruling is unfair

Frankfort city officials plan to appeal a Kentucky Fire Commission ruling that the fire department must reimburse nearly $30,000 because three city firefighters and the emergency management director did not fulfill requirements to receive the training bonuses.

The decision was issued Monday after the commission ruled that firefighters Daniel Miller, Ray Travis and Thomas Young did not complete the 100 training hours last year. The commission also ruled that Emergency Management Director Deron Rambo does not qualify to receive a training bonus because he does not operate as a firefighter. Rambo received $17,523.30 in training bonuses over the past 41/2 years.

Terri Giltner, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Community Technical College System, said there is a separate Kentucky State Police investigation “related to this situation,” but she would not be more specific.

Frankfort City Manager Tony Massey said the fire commission told him the investigation concerned altered documents.

“We welcome Kentucky State Police to look at it,” Massey said. “If something illegal is going on here, we want to know about it and we want to correct it. However, if these allegations are false, we want to know that as well.”

The fire commission, which trains and certifies firefighters, is part of KCTCS.

The commission learned that Rambo did not operate as a firefighter through a Frankfort State Journal interview with Fire Chief Wallace Possich.

The commission's board brought the fire chief in to testify and “that was what was discovered,” Giltner said.

The training incentives totaled $29,710.02. The deadline for the fire department to reimburse the commission is Sept. 1.

But Massey said the city plans to appeal. The firefighters were only one to four hours short of the 100 training hours and their training hours were verified, he said. Rambo is a trained firefighter, a requirement of his job description as emergency management director, Massey said.

“It is excessive,” he said of the ruling. “We feel we have documentation to successfully appeal this. Quite frankly, I can't understand why the fire commission decided to basically throw the book at us.”

There will also be an internal investigation, Massey said.