Searsmont Fire Chief James Ames and his wife, Service Chief Joanne Ames, both resigned Jan. 22 amid accusations and complaints.

Searsmont Selectman Bruce Brierley said the resignations came as a result of "personal stuff" and that "it is a touchy situation."

"They both have been serving the town for many years," he said.

According to Brierley, there have been some issues involving the EMS service chief and some complaints were filed. The complaints were received by Atlantic Partners EMS, an emergency medical services training organization.

Brierley said Chief Ames "stood by his wife" after learning about the complaints, and also resigned.

A resignation letter from Joanne Ames submitted to selectmen reads, in part: "…I have done my job the best I could. I thought I was liked and respected. Now I find out that people don't respect me, don't trust me and are telling lies about me."

"I can no longer work for people that treat me like that," she wrote. "I don't know who's lying and who isn't."

Chief Ames wrote in his resignation letter that the situation has been going on since November and that the couple are "sick of it." He also wrote about there being "a lot of lies" being circulated around town.

"We feel this gives the town a fresh start for 2019," he said in his letter. "We have a very good Fire Station now and we do not want to mess up a good thing."

The new $1.5 million Fire Station was completed in 2018. The chief noted that "We would not have it if it was not for the Robbinses. We are grateful to have them in town."

Brierley said, "Some people blame this (the resignations) on the selectmen, but it was their (the Ameses') decision."

Atlantic Partners Executive Director and EMS Rick Petrie said he could not confirm or deny any complaints were made. "As far as I know, she is still licensed as an EMS provider in Maine," he said.

He said any complaints are referred to the Quality Assurance and Improvement Committee within Maine EMS Public Safety.

"There, it is decided whether it can be handled locally or turned over to the state of Maine," Petrie said.

Dawn Bryant was appointed by Searsmont selectmen as the new service chief on Tuesday, Jan. 22, the same day the official resignation letters from the Ameses were received.

When asked about the effectiveness of the department, which now is missing a fire chief and in need of both firefighters and first responders, Brierley said, "We'll make it work; we always have."

The Ameses have not returned a phone call from The Republican Journal seeking comment.