This move comes after the embattled president and the board of directors for the Fire Department closed two fire stations, claiming a lack of funding. The BCVFD also made headlines leading up to this year's elections, for attempting to refuse the use of fire stations as polling places.
Amburgey blamed his resignation from his post on recent statements he made to the media.
"The president job does not fit me anymore," said Amburgey. "I was wrong for overlooking the SOG requirements. I made a statement that I should not have made (to the media)."
The SOG requirements that Amburgey was referring to states that he must get approval from the board before holding a press conference or making comments about a situation to the media.
"I am a vocal person, and I believe in reacting to things. That is not good for the board at this time," stated Amburgey. "I know we have capable people that will step into this position and do a fine job."
Amburgey plans to turn in his written resignation at the next regular board meeting in January. It was reported that fire chief Rodney Wilder will do the same at the next meeting. Wilder was not present at the BCVFD special called meeting.
The actual meeting, which lasted roughly 30 minutes, was a special called meeting intended to discuss insurance issues only. It was stated by Amburgey that this limited the meeting to topics that were on the agenda.
The audience members in attendance were angered by this because many of them wanted to discuss the closing of the two fire stations (in Colmer and Arjay). After the meeting was over, the citizens voiced their opinions.
One man asked, "Who made the decision to close down the fire station?"
Mike Cupp, Captain of the Four Mile fire station, stated that it was the board's collective decision.
When asked what they based the decision on in terms of closing the station, Cupp said the decision was based on runs and membership.
Another asked how much money the BCVFD had in the bank.
"We have right around $150,000 in the bank," said Cupp in reference to the question.
Bernadine Mills, who says she has worked with the BCVFD for over 17 years, was there to voice her concerns as well.
"This is the people's fire department," said Mills. "It's not the board's. The people should have a say-so."
Mills stated that the BCVFD is incorporated, a statement often made by BCVFD board members and officers when the the issue of public input and access is raised.
"In 2007, we went to federal court," said Mills. "It isn't the county's fire department. It's the Bell County Volunteer Fire Department's members fire department."
Mills then turned the question to Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock, "Is it not (the members fire department)?"
Brock replied that it was not their fire department, but explained that it was the citizens of Bell County's fire department.
"These people in this room (Bell County citizens) paid for everything here, and that the Bell County Volunteer Fire Department, Incorporated has been entrusted," said Brock.
Arguments raged back and forth between the judge and the BCVFD board for several minutes, with the 2007 litigation brought up several times in the process.
Amburgey also talked about the fund cuts the fire department received during 2007. The department claims they lost 69 percent of their funds that year.
Amburgey stated that during that time, they had plans to grow larger and update older buildings.
"Those savings are the only way we are surviving now. If we didn't have our savings, we would have folded a long time ago," said Amburgey.
Mills brought up the fact that the BCVFD has to submit their bills to the fiscal court to get the money back.
"If you just told somebody that you wanted $10,000 and you didn't give them a statement on what it was for, you can't get that money back. The fiscal court could not give you that money," said Mills. "If you had submitted your bills and made an estimation on what you would need (money for equipment, etc.) and took it to fiscal court you would have gotten it (the money back)."
Mills also stated that the department has to be accountable for the money that is spent.
The next regular BCVFD meeting will be held on January 9.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. Contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.