Interim SLFD Chief Pattie gives board 24 hours to consider emergency agreement with Salem

silver-lake-fd-doorSilver Lake received its second resignation of a fire chief in about the last 24 hours Wednesday night.

But interim Chief Roger Pattie ultimately withdrew his resignation as chief and from the department and gave the Village Board 24 hours to explore if it could contract with Town of Salem Fire/Rescue for services until November.

Pattie delivered the resignation at a meeting of the Emergency Services Committee as a committee of the whole Wednesday night. The meeting was held to discuss the sudden retirement of Chief Andrew McFarlane, which was tendered to the board Tuesday via letter.

Trustee Roger Johnson, committee chairman, sought to assure the public that the fire department was functioning and residents were safe.

“Roger Pattie been helping us out right now,” Johnson said. “We’re going to put this fire department back together. We’re going to keep this moving.”

Johnson added that he had people telling him they were interested in returning to the fire department in the wake of McFarlane’s departure.

But Pattie painted a grimer picture of the manpower situation. He said the roster now has 14 members, only six of which regularly respond to calls. One of those, Pattie himself, is qualified to be a command officer and only one other person was qualified to run a pumper.

“This fire department is not ready to fight a fire today,” Pattie said. “My recommendation is to approach the Town of Salem for some kind of emergency agreement to cover us between now and November. That’s the closest department and the most staffed and that is the best thing you can do for the citizens of this town.”

Pattie acknowledged that a citizens legislation initiative on contracting for fire and rescue with Salem, to be voted on in November, might preclude an agreement with Salem. But he asked board members individually to respond to the hypothetical situation of if an emergency agreement with Salem was cleared by the village attorney, would board members be in favor of it. Trustee Patrick Dunn said he would, but after President Sue Gerber, Trustee Chris Willkomm and Johnson  all gave evasive answers Pattie said he resigned as interim chief and from the department.

When Johnson asked Pattie for some time to consult with village attorney Linda Gray about the legality of the emergency agreement with Salem, Pattie agreed to withdraw his resignation for 24 hours.

After the meeting, Pattie told me he is willing to continue to serve as chief if the emergency agreement with Salem is enacted.

Trustee Mike Decker and Carolyn Dodge were absent.



  1. Steve ( Doc ) Hopkins says:

    Again some village employees are dictating to the village board. Let’s get serious, lock the door and start over.

  2. Bernard Punsley says:

    Well go figure…Mike Decker was absent? Isn’t he on the fire department? I thought he was a Lieutenant? Did he resign? Carol Dodge was absent? Think about it folks…both Chief McFarlane and Acting Chief Pattie have told the board the fire department is in dire straits. The ad hoc committee predicted this was coming. Roger Johnson’s answer is “we are not worried..we are trying put the fire department back together”. Really? Maybe they should focus a little bit more on the “dumbsters” in town. An incredible sad journey for the SLFD…Silver Lake Rescue is laughing all the way to the bank!

  3. Bernard Punsley says:

    What a relief…Roger Johnson is going to consult with legal counsel Linda Gray. That oughta clear up the muddied waters! And when did Colleen get elected to the board? She can pull her strings from the audience….does she need to stand up and scream and shout at every meeting. Her and her “minions” ran the Fire Chief out of town, she’s screaming at the interim Fire Chief because he won’t cower to her, Sue’s gavel remains in remission. Sort of like the fire department.
    And this issue of a “fire department in limbo” was so important, that Decker and Dodge could not show up for the discussion. Oh, that’s right, Roger says “we’re not worried”. If Interim Chief Pattie is worried, you should be too folks. That simple.

  4. Move now says:

    For all those living within Silver Lakes “protection” area, here is some simple advice…MOVE NOW! As long as the same “townies” are running the show, this village will only get worse. Your homeowners insurance will be going up. The state of this village is in shambles. Outsiders laugh at Silver Lake. And trust me, you are looked down upon to all those outside of Silver Lake if you mention you live in Silver Lake. They don’t say it to your face, but I promise, they laugh at you in secrecy!

  5. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Doc…..”village employees dictating to the village board”…..hilarious….you’ve never witnessed “private contract employees” dictating to our board? Via their mouthpiece Colleen? I have said it many times in previous posts…that when SLFD goes under, the demise of SLRS is not too far off. I’ll stand by that observation. I’ve also previously stated more than once I thought SLFD could not(and would not)continue to exist under the current structure. While “locking the door and starting over” might sound like a logical thing to do…..what is the alternative? And you will need an IMMEDIATE alternative, as unfortunately, fire and rescue situations cannot be “scheduled” in a timely fashion. Roger Johnson has said he is “not worried” about the village’s ability to provide fire & rescue protection”. Both Fire Chief’s McFarlane and Pattie are. What does Roger know that they don’t? I’d sure like to know!

  6. Steve ( Doc ) Hopkins says:

    I hope that you have heard this before but in case you have not, Quitters never win & winners never quit. This is for Andy McFarlane & Roger Pattie. Just take your marbles and go home.

  7. Bernard Punsley says:

    @ Doc Hopkins……ah..what’s up “Doc”….something for you to “chew on”…Vince Lombardi “quit” the Green Bay Packers”, took his “marbles” and went “home” to the Washington Redskins. I looked up he word “LOSER” in the dictionary today and saw your picture prominently displayed there. Given all the years of dedicated service that Andy McFarlane and Roger Pattie have given to our community, and given the disdain that they and their firefighters have had to endure over the last several years from critics like you…is it any wonder that our fire department cannot recruit and maintain a viable membership? Why anyone would want to subject themselves to that, and oh yeah, risk their lives running into burning buildings for $10/hr. is baffling. Keep eatin’ them cupcakes, “Doc”.
    You need to hook up with “the ROCK”!

  8. Wow says:

    Wow I thought Darren moderated these comments! You let Bernie call anyone names like a loser and many others I’ve seen on here! Why is it no one else name calls except Bernie? Does he get a free pass or is he the only one doing it? Either way why wouldn’t you want to keep your site and the comments more professional?

    1. Wow: I do try to keep name empty name calling out of comments. Many try and are not approved. That one got through. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  9. Bernard Punsley says:

    @@WOW….hilarious. Doc Hopkins calls McFarlane and Pattie “quitters” and “dicatators”, that’s ok, but I call somebody a “loser” and that ruffles your feathers? Yay. No one else “name calls” except me? Incredible.

  10. Wow says:

    So by Bernie’s logic 2 wrongs make a right? Why not rise above? And you people wonder why silver lake is in the mess it is in. A whole lot of finger pointing going on! The only one stepping up making any sense around here is al “scooter” dunski! He remembers what the dept used to be like. Thriving, energetic, the place to be! It wasn’t just a dept it was like a club and everyone wanted to be in it! I remember as a kid there wouldn’t be a weekend where there wasn’t at least six seven guys watching a race or game at the fire house while doing equipment checks or washing trucks or supervising kids doing community service around the police and fire station. Call them the good old boys if you’d like but I call those the good old days! People helping people!

  11. Bernard Punsley says:

    @Wow…..sorry pal….your exact words “why is it no one else name calls except Bernie”. What rose colored glasses are you wearing? Starting with calling me “Bernie”…..where did that come from? Have you been to a village board meetng in the last year? The rancor oozes from the meeting. I shall continue to “perplex the perplexed”, which I have apparently done in your case.

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