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12 members of Neola fire department resign

Posted at 6:16 PM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 19:16:09-05

A southwest Iowa fire department's future is in question, as it deals with a fire fight with city leaders.

That debate caused a dozen of its volunteer firefighters to quit Monday night, after the city council said it was going to be more involved in the department's operation.

Several people in Neola declined to talk on camera, but those who did were sad to hear so many of their fire department resigned.

“We had one of the best, if not the best fire departments in southwest Iowa,” said resident Ron Ring.

The sudden drop out of volunteers is believed to be an after-effect of a state audit of the former city clerk back in October.

That audit found Deb Schierbrock improperly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in city and fire department funds.

Her husband, the former fire chief and two other firefighters were suspended after the audit was released.

“I think it's shame they let Bill Schierbrock, an excellent fire chief, go,” said Ring.

While some residents still stand behind their former fire chief, the city says they are working to get the fire department running with new rules.

City representative Clint said the way things are running right now are a mess and the city has to has more involvement in the department

"I anticipate the department will be functioning at a high level in the following weeks,” said Victor.

Victor also said the town has four volunteers left, but others heard different, “I heard all the fireman except two quit,” said Ring.

The town will depend on Minden and Underwood to help with their 911 calls until they get more volunteers.

The state auditor's report on Schierbrock remains under investigation by Pottawattamie county prosecutors.

A lot of the fire fighters that resigned Monday night were family members of the Schierbrocks.

To look at a copy of the state audit you can click here.