Township officials here were astonished this week after Tower’s ambulance director and fire chief Steve Altenburg appeared at Monday’s town board meeting to criticize the township’s handling of its records, to raise questions about firefighter training, and to allege that the situation was being intentionally “suppressed” by Timberjay publisher Marshall Helmberger.
Altenburg’s presentation came just one week after he delivered a 46-minute-long harangue against Helmberger at a Tower City Council meeting. Altenburg told the council he is upset by reporting and recent editorials in the Timberjay that have raised questions about the ambulance service’s shift to a paid on-call staffing model under Altenburg.
Altenburg provided no information regarding his specific concerns about the fire department, other than to claim that there are a “host of questions regarding the actual number of active firefighters, actual trained/certified Fire 1 and Fire 2 staff and, the ability of those firefighters to actually use the equipment to fight interior fires.”
Altenburg also criticized the department for having “extremely old and outdated equipment that is not safe and should not be in service, including vehicles parked around the area that are still listed as active fire trucks.”