There’s a sense among Cambria residents and employees with the local fire department that justice has been served and all is right once more in the Pines by the Sea.
The Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors unanimously reinstated Mark Miller as chief of the Cambria Fire Department. Miller was fired in April by former Community Services District General Manager Tammy Rudock. The abrupt decision sparked community outrage against Rudock, who terminated Miller behind closed doors.
The reinstatement follows a unanimous decision by the district board of directors to give Rudock the boot on April 29, after roughly 300 people turned out to voice their anger. Rudock was seen by many in the community as trying to micromanage the fire department, dismissing a number of department employees in the past months.
Miller will be reimbursed with back pay for his time away from the department, as well as for legal fees for an appeal he filed to the board after his dismissal.
Rudock also dismissed two volunteer firefighters, and an administrative technician, the futures of whom remained uncertain as of press time. CSD officials did not return requests for comment.
By all accounts, however, morale in the fire department—and the community as a whole—has never been higher.
“It’s awesome,” said Fire Capt. Mike Gallagher. “I’ve been here eight years, and I’ve never felt morale higher than it is right now. And I attribute that to having Mark back and Jerry [Gruber] as the new [general manager]. The outpouring from the community has really made us feel appreciated, like everyone’s in our corner.”