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Fire Dept. Board Calls Emergency Meeting After More Sex Assault Arrests

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WAXAHACHIE (CBSDFW.COM) - The scandal involving volunteer Ellis County firefighters widens. Two more arrests, of high-ranking officials, were made on Thursday.

The board that oversees the volunteer department held an emergency meeting Thursday night, where officials faced some tough decisions.

Emergency Services District No. 6 board members said nothing is being ruled out as they go forward. They'll first need to decide whether to look for a new leader, since Chief Gavin Satterfield and Assistant Chief Billy Getzendaner are now among those facing charges.

Ellis Co Fire Chief Gavin Satterfield
(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

The board that oversees the volunteer department, now consumed in a messy controversy, called an emergency meeting. They're considering making major changes to combat what has been called a 'fraternity' type atmosphere.

Clay Hinds, the attorney for Emergency Services District No. 6, said, "We have to bring in an outsider to make sure we've got this volunteer bunch under control. We think this was an isolated incident, but we don't know for sure."

Ellis Co Assistant Fire Chief Billy Getzendaner
(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Chief Satterfield and Assistant Chief Getzendaner had nothing to say Thursday after posting bond and being released from the Ellis County Jail. The men are accused of saying too much to the volunteer firefighters accused of sexually assaulting a recruit. They now face felony charges for witness tampering.

"People that we have relied on, people of this district have relied on, have been accused something so heinous… it is a shock," Hinds said.

According to arrest warrant affidavits, the two chiefs warned five volunteer firefighters to keep silent after they watched cell phone video of them sexually assaulting the recruit with a broomstick, then a chorizo sausage.

Jerold Tucker, Casey Stafford, Brittany Parten, Alec Miller (credit: Ellis County Jail)

In a private meeting Getzendaner said, "The victim could do something to 'us' and (then) looked at the victim and said, 'but you're not going to.'" But two months later the recruit did just that.

People living in the rural Ellis County community said they are disgusted by the charges. Resident Connie Slay said, "They're supposed to protect people, not hurt people. It's really sad to know that this is going on in our community."

Several items on Thursday night's emergency agenda were tabled -- including retaining an interim chief. Emergency Services board members will meet again on Monday.

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