April 20, 2024

“The Port Edwards Volunteer Fire Department has gone through a high number of resignations and retirements, per former staff.

According to former chief Jason Worden, he and six other members of staff have left the department since the start of the year, and claims more could be leaving soon.

“I hope you all stay safe, because as of right now, I am off duty,” Worden said, addressing village residents.

He claims there have been several instances of mismanagement at the village level, and that he was denied a request to elevate a fellow staff member’s position.

“I told myself, I can’t take one more lie. Things were really rough, I asked for an apology, that apology was not given,” Worden said, who adds matters ultimately boiled over for him this week.

The village is now tasked with finding replacements for those who have left, at a time when officials say finding answers for open positions have been challenging.

“If our resignations increase, we’re going to be down to a smaller staff and atr least we need a certain amount to be here, and I think we will, based on the members we have,” said interim Village Administrator Duane Gau.

Gau admitted to have misused his authority when demanding in an email that a peaceful transfer of duties be made.

“I have been corrected by law enforcement that I did not have that authority,” he said. The transfer of duties had already occurred.”

Port Edwards fire department experiencing high resignation numbers
Isak Dinesen
March 14, 2024


“This follows a post from Port Edwards volunteer firefighter Matt Fletcher, which claims to be a copy of an email sent to Fletcher from Gau.

In it, Gau allegedly threatens to have Port Edwards Police officers forcibly bring Fletcher and unnamed-others to the Port Edwards Fire Department station, “to have a peaceful transfer of duties as our out going (sic) Chief.”

In the Port Edwards post, Gau corrected himself, saying “I do not have that authority. And the transfer of duties has already occurred.”

Fletcher claims the resignations are due to multiple years of issues between the Fire Department and Village Hall.”

Multiple Resignations at Port Edwards Fire Department
Mason Dowling
March 14, 2024