CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WLNS) – After a mass exodus, more than 20 Charlotte volunteer firefighters are back on duty.

Mark Jordan has also been selected as the new fire chief.

Jordan is the former fire chief of the Bellevue Fire Department. He has more than 22 years of firefighting experience. He was sworn in a day early to assist with managing the return of the former volunteers of the Charlotte Fire Department.

The decision was made to move ahead with the appointment tonight because fire department matters could not be addressed by the city manager without a fire chief present.

The volunteer group held its own vote during the meeting to approve Chief Jordan’s motion paving the way for them to turn to duty. At first, discussion over the volunteers was not on the agenda, but that changed after volunteer firefighter Ron Smith spoke up.

“The city attorney calls the volunteers employees but this is an incorrect categorization. The volunteers have never been directly employed by the city. We are a 1099 NEC independent contractor to the city through the Charlotte Fire Department. The City of Charlotte has never hired a volunteer for the City of Charlotte Fire Department. The CVFD in all of its history has been solely responsible for hiring volunteers throughout its constitution and hiring policy,” Smith said.

His comments led to more discussion over the details of volunteer positions, which further complicated things for the council.

But after more than three hours, both sides were able to reach an agreement and the volunteer firefighters are happy to be back on the job,

On March 21, all Charlotte firefighters quit at once, citing issues with the mayor.

The previous fire chief quit the next day.