Quantcast

Fire chief choice draws fire in DeSoto - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Fire chief choice draws fire in DeSoto

Posted: Updated:
DESOTO PARISH, La. (KTBS) -

Talk about putting out fires. A new chief is fighting criticism that he's not qualified -- or at least not as qualified as others who were passed over -- in the largest firefighting district in DeSoto Parish.

Was Fred Lowery surprised to get the job?

"Very," he says with a short laugh. "Very surprised."

So were others, including the author of an anonymous letter to the fire district board, questioning Lowery's qualifications.

Lowery was serving as interim chief after David Manning retired earlier this year. Lowery was listed as a firefighter/operator/EMT. He has a GED. Because of that education level, he needed five years of "progressively responsible experience." Lowery informed the separate civil service board he had that by filling in for the captain.

"I've been the senior man for 8 (years)," Lowery says. "So anytime the captain is gone, the senior person steps in."

But, argues district board commissioner Bill Cunningham, "That's not a set position. That's seniority that happened."

Cunningham says he did not even consider voting for Lowery over captains within the district.

Lowery got just two votes. But that was all he needed from the five member board, since another member has been absent due to bad health, and the chairwoman only votes to break ties. That left only Cunningham.

"They just out-voted me," Cunningham shrugs.

He says captains he preferred did not get votes because of a perception that they're not liked by firefighters.

"That's immaterial to me," Cunningham says. "You don't have to like somebody. It's not a popularity contest."

"But last week the civil service board upheld its decision to qualify Lowery's experience. Which brings up more controversy; Lowery also served on that three-person civil service board but says he took no action on the chief selection process.

As for the complaints, Chief Lowery says, "I think it's just somebody's upset because they didn't get the position. It's just ... It's petty. But we're trying to work through it and be better."

Lowery says he's working toward an associates degree in emergency management technologies. He plans to continue toward a bachelor's degree.

Meantime, Cunningham says the board may have to do something it didn't do before -- hire an administrative assistant to help Lowery fulfill his duties as chief.

  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Anna P. Tooke Memorial Library taking shape in South Bossier Parish

    Anna P. Tooke Memorial Library taking shape in South Bossier Parish

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:27 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:27:55 GMT
    Anna P. Tooke Memorial Library (Photo source: Prevot Design Services)Anna P. Tooke Memorial Library (Photo source: Prevot Design Services)
    It's Bossier Parish's smallest library branch. Originally just a bookmobile, this 12 x 30 foot temporary metal building has been the Koran community's only branch since 1977.
    It's Bossier Parish's smallest library branch. Originally just a bookmobile, this 12 x 30 foot temporary metal building has been the Koran community's only branch since 1977.
  • Family mourns loss of Natchitoches teen

    Family mourns loss of Natchitoches teen

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:53 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:53:10 GMT
    18-year-old Johnquaries Smith was a high school senior at Natchitoches Central High school.He died Tuesday after he was punched by another student on campus.
    18-year-old Johnquaries Smith was a high school senior at Natchitoches Central High school.He died Tuesday after he was punched by another student on campus.
  • Jindal suing feds over Common Core

    Jindal suing feds over Common Core

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:51 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:51:42 GMT
    Louisiana's Republican governor is planning to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally using federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards.
    Louisiana's Republican governor is planning to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally using federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Moderate earthquake hits region near Fairbanks

    Moderate earthquake hits region near Fairbanks

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:01 AM EDT2014-08-31 04:01:40 GMT
    The Alaska Earthquake Center says a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit 43 miles northwest of Fairbanks on Saturday night.
    The Alaska Earthquake Information Center says a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit 43 miles northwest of Fairbanks on Saturday night.
  • Airstrikes and aid provide relief for Iraqi town

    Airstrikes and aid provide relief for Iraqi town

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:20:39 GMT
    The Pentagon says the U.S. military has conducted airstrikes and dropped humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Iraqi city of Amirli, where thousands of Shiite Turkomen have been cut off from food and water for nearly...
    Aircraft from the United States, Australia, France and Britain dropped food and water to the beleaguered Iraqi town of Amirli, which has been under siege by Islamic State militants for nearly two months, the Pentagon said...
  • Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-08-31 02:00:47 GMT
    Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts.
    The owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts, according to local prosecutors.
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Major crash on 70th St. in Shreveport

    Major crash on 70th St. in Shreveport

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:28:53 GMT
    Four cars crashed Saturday night in an incident on 70th Street near the Jimmie Davis Bridge in Shreveport.
    Four cars crashed Saturday night in an incident on 70th Street near the Jimmie Davis Bridge in Shreveport.
  • Manhunt underway after a police chase in Bowie County, TX

    Manhunt underway after a police chase in Bowie County, TX

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:23:45 GMT
    Police in Bowie County are looking for a man wanted on multiple felony warrants. Jordan Lee of New Boston, Texas, is wanted on multiple felony warrants in Arkansas. 
    Police in Bowie County are looking for a man wanted on multiple felony warrants. Jordan Lee of New Boston, Texas, is wanted on multiple felony warrants in Arkansas. 
  • Shreveport murder numbers, lower than last year's rate so far

    Shreveport murder numbers, lower than last year's rate so far

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:09 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:09:33 GMT
    Murders in Shreveport rose slightly last year. Police says 28 people were killed in 2013, compared to around 20 in both 2011 and 2012.So far this year, 17 people have been killed by the hands of others.
    Murders in Shreveport rose slightly last year. Police says 28 people were killed in 2013, compared to around 20 in both 2011 and 2012.So far this year, 17 people have been killed by the hands of others.
Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File