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North Oldham Fire Chief resigns

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By Amanda Manning

The North Oldham fire chief and the assistant fire chief have resigned over issues with the fire board and several firefighters are willing to quit over the matter as well, according to sources. 

North Oldham Fire Chief Tim Conway officially resigned during executive session at the North Oldham Fire Department Board of Trustees meeting July 12. He will remain as chief until a replacement is found. 

North Oldham Assistant Chief Scott Hogan has also announced that he is resigning. He will remain in his position until Conway leaves. 

“I feel that I can no longer lead the department in the direction that the Board of Trustees would like,” Conway said.

North Oldham Fire Department District Board of Trustee Chairman Randall Scherer responded to that.

“I think there’s some disagreements on future staffing,” he said. “I think that may be the cause of why he’s leaving.”

Former North Oldham Fire Department Chief Rick Albers previously told the Era that Conway advocated for the Skylight fire station to be staffed for the last few years, but the fireboard’s opinion differed. 

At the May 17 meeting, the board voted 4-3 to increase to five firefighters around the clock. Two will man Skylight now, while another three will stay at the Goshen station. 

Conway also asked to increase the number of firefighters at several board meetings. 

At the May meeting, the board also approved not increasing staff at the fire station for the next two years. 

North Oldham Firefighter Adriane Ramos weighed in on Conway’s resignation. 

“He is resigning because the board tied his hands,” Ramos said. “They will not allow him to better the department for the sake of the community it serves. It is because of Chief Conway that there are professional firefighters manning the Goshen station 24-7. 

Ramos said that other firefighters at North Oldham were also willing to leave if things do not change.  We all would prefer that Chief Conway and Scott Hogan remain in their present capacity,” she said. We are family there at North and don’t want the break up.”

Conway said he’s been considering stepping down for the last few months.

“I have been seriously thinking about this since May, but held off notifying the board until now in order to get some specific tasks accomplished,” Conway said.

Conway worked at the Louisville Fire Department for over 20 years, according to a previous Era article. He has been the chief of the North Oldham Fire Department since 2014. 

Hogan, who has worked at the North Oldham Fire Department for 28 years, explained why he’s resigning as well. Hogan and Conway worked together at the Louisville Fire Department. 

“The only reason I took this job was because of Tim,” Hogan said. “I knew he had leadership, I knew that I wanted this fire department to be better than it was. That’s why I took the job, anybody else I wouldn’t of.”

Although there has been disagreement between the board and department, the board thanked Conway for his service. 

“I can’t thank him enough for the job he’s done over the last four years,” Scherer said.

Scherer said that Conway helped move the department from a majority volunteer staff to a paid staff.

“That’s something we never had before. It was through his leadership and guidance that we got there,” Scherer said. 

“I made it clear to board members that I am willing, if needed, to stay in this role until I can be replaced and they transition to a new chief,” Conway said. 

Scherer said that Conway would be hard to replace. 

“He’s done a great job,” he said. “The service now is the best that it’s ever been in a large part due to his efforts there.”