Stress at HVFD unbearable

My husband, Oscar Lopez, has been a dedicated employee of Hualapai Valley Fire Department for almost 13 years. In recent days, he has been put on administrative leave pending his decision to take a severance package or face termination. With the severance package, Oscar would have to sign a waiver that states he would no longer be able to discuss anything that involves HVFD. In return, he would get approximately six months pay, a "retirement party," and Wayne Eder would retire his badge with honors. Not accepting this, he will face termination for discrimination, harassment and unsafe work practices to one employee.

I am asking you, Mr. Eder, if your accusations are true, why does my husband have to sign a waiver giving up his freedom of speech? Why was he not notified of the incident or any other actions taken when this happened? And why would you give him a party and retire his badge with honors for doing something wrong? I do, however, wish to thank you, Mr. Eder, for relieving my husband of stress at this time, and that myself and our family do not have to worry about his health because of the stress he has been under and the "hostile work environment," in my opinion, I feel you have created.

My husband told me that he is relieved that he will no longer have to work under the threatening and hostile work environment that Mr. Eder has created. He also described to me that the fear of going into work and being able to do his job is more stressful than when he and the other firefighters were shot at on Aug. 19, 2006.

I have been with my husband 10 of the thirteen years he has been with HVFD, and I have never seen so much turmoil and low morale in that department since Mr. Eder has become chief. How do you, Mr. Eder, and the board members sleep at night knowing how many lives that you have caused so much havoc to? Not only to the firefighters, but to their families. And as to my husband's performance as a team leader, by the looks of it, he still has quite a team standing beside him. Can you say the same, Mr. Eder?

I want to express my deep appreciation to the local union president, Robert Borker, the local Professional Firefighters Union and the International Association of Firefighters for all that they have done and continue to do to support and protect all of us who have been affected by Mr. Eder and the HVFD board members. I would also like to thank all those who drove by and honked in support of the firefighters and those who stood side by side with the firefighters on Northern Avenue to show their support.

Kami Lopez

Kingman