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Volunteer fire department gets fresh start after clean sweep

By Richard Yeakley
Oct. 16, 2012 at 11 p.m.

With a new fire chief and crew, the Clarksville City - Warren City Volunteer Fire Department is set to begin guarding residents once again.

In a clean sweep two weeks ago, the executive board that oversees the department locked all members of the volunteer service out of the station, citing ongoing concerns about the readiness of the department to serve in an emergency.

Derek Zivney, who has 12 years experience in fire prevention and served two years with the Clarksville City - Warren City VFD, was appointed as the new chief for the department on Thursday by the executive board.

"The residents of these cities are going to be protected by people that will be certified and will have the training done," said Richard Rogers, president of the fire departments editorial board. "We will have a much better fire department in a short period of time; a lot of these young firefighters have been trained."

The Clarksville City – Warren City VFD had been led by Ricky Wallace for years.

Wallace declined comment on the reorganization.

Zivney brings training and experience to the department that will serve the communities between White Oak and Gladewater.

Nearly a dozen volunteers have lined up to serve the department including raw recruits and veterans who reapplied following the lockout.

"It all comes down to the team you have. You have to have a good team under you," Zivney said. "It's all a family, we have to be there and help each other out. All these people coming back understand that."

Rogers said the fire department hopes to be fully operational by the end of next week, less than one month after the reorganization.

Although no major fires have broken out in Warren City or Clarksville City since Oct. 2, the White Oak Fire Department has been on call to serve the area until the VFD could be reestablished.

Zivney studied at the Louisiana State University Fire Academy and TEEX in Brian College Station while he was a student at Texas A&M University.

"We are going to make sure we are organized and do everything to state and federal standards," Zivney said. "We are going to establish a really good training program, and new firefighters can get state certified through us. ... We want to make sure we maintain a top level of training and experience."



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