UPDATE: (3/22) — Charlotte’s Fire Chief Robert Vogel has announced he will resign from his position in two-weeks.

The decision was officially announced by the City of Charlotte today, just one day after every volunteer firefighter simultaneously resigned.

The City Manager, Mayor, and City Council ‘fully support the Chief’ and are proud of his accomplishments, the city said.

Vogel released the following statement:

“I have truly enjoyed my time here in Charlotte serving as Fire Chief. I am proud of our accomplishments in my short time in Charlotte, including the successful grants awarded, diversifying the workforce, and upgrades in technology. However, due to personal reasons I have decided to resign from the City of Charlotte Fire Department effective April 4, 2022. I am so grateful for the friends I have made in the department and people throughout the community. I will miss the full-time staff and volunteers alike and I hope for the best for the department moving forward.”

For more details on this story, read the article below.

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WLNS) -Volunteer firefighters resigned en masse on Monday’s meeting of the Charlotte City Council.

The group’s spokesman criticized the board during a call to the public, saying its members have been unsupportive of their department and spread false information about their leaders. He also accused the council of trying to limit their use of trucks and personnel without having a full understanding of why those resources are needed.

When he was finished speaking, all 23 volunteer firefighters dropped their hats and helmets on the floor of the council chamber and walked out.

Mayor Michael Armitage refuted those claims, saying the council does support the fire department and has a right to question how city resources are being used.

“I believe that our city manager has been very supportive of our fire chief and the fire chief reports to the city manager. I don’t think it is fair to say that city council can never question things when it comes to the budget or operation of any department of the city, which the fire department is,” said Armitage.

One firefighter confirmed that earlier Monday Fire Chief Robert Vogel left the department, citing a “mutual separation”.

As for the volunteers, Ronald Smith, a volunteer himself, said the decision to quit was not taken lightly.
He said the firefighters are not looking for extra pay or benefits, just better coordination between the department and the city. He said he and his team are waiting to see how the city responds.

“We still want to service the community in the same capacity that we always have. Our desire is to be out there, helping and saving. But the current mayor and president of the rural fire board have made it unbearable to be part of anymore,” he said.

As for now, the mayor said the city has contacted Eaton County Dispatch to have area fire departments help respond to emergencies in Charlotte. There are still full-time firefighters currently working with the department.