Local News

Garner fire department to take over rescue squad's duties

Posted September 23, 2010

The Garner Rescue Squad faces a sexual assault investigation and lacks a leader following the resignation of its chief.

— The Garner Volunteer Fire Department will take over services provided by Garner EMS & Rescue Squad on Oct. 1, months earlier than planned, after the squad's leader resigned amid a sexual assault investigation involving the agency.

The nonprofit Garner Rescue Squad had provided search and rescue services and non-emergency ambulance services under a one-year, $280,000 contract with the town. The fire department will officially take over those services at 8 a.m. on Oct. 1.

"Service delivery should be seamless," Fire Chief Matt Poole said. "We are excited to be taking primary responsibility for this much-needed service within the town limits."

"Garner citizens will ultimately benefit from the new arrangement," Mayor Ronnie Williams said in a statement. "We believe this is leading us to the most efficient and effective solution that serves town residents."

Three full-time rescue squad workers will become employees of the fire department. The town of Garner will also gain ownership of blue, heavy rescue truck, which it plans to sell.

Garner EMS & Rescue will continue to provide medical transportation and other services, said Ralph Smith, chair of the board of directors.

"We wish out three departing colleagues all the best in their new role with Garner Fire," Smith said in a statement. "The community's need for reliable and competent rescue and extrication services will be well-managed in the new service delivery arrangement."

The fire department was originally scheduled to take over services from Garner Rescue in January. Funding for the new arrangement was included in Garner's 2010-11 budget.

Wake County EMS began providing emergency medical services in Garner last May because of the rescue squad's mounting financial difficulties.

Earlier in September, Rescue Squad Chief Bill Frederick resigned Tuesday, six days after a squad employee allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in the former Garner EMS & Rescue Squad office on Seventh Avenue. Frederick cited personal reasons for his resignation.

No criminal charges have been filed in the alleged sexual assault, and no other Garner Rescue employees have resigned or been fired in the case.


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  • superman Sep 24, 2010

    The city paying them 250K? I thought people had to pay for EMS services. Some of the cost will be paid by medical insurance and the individual is responsbile for the balance. I dont mind that they are paid workers but I didnt know their service was free.

  • beargun Sep 23, 2010

    KT, about 70% of the Fire and Rescue in this country is still volunteer, not all of them are run by people that do these things. Ruin a political career !! politicians do a pretty good job of ruining their own careers.I havent seen a fire department yet that has ruined the career of a politician.
    Remember these are the people that are still coming to your house in the middle of the night to pull you and your family out of a burning house or unpin you from your car in a ditch at 3 am in the morning

  • KT6596 Sep 23, 2010

    Local politicians need to pay closer attention. These are organizations that will eventually ruin a political career, bankrupt a town and most importantly not be their for the public in their time of need.

  • KT6596 Sep 23, 2010

    I bet that this is not the end of the problems with the town of Garner's Emergency Services. There are to many independent fire, rescue and EMS organizations in North Carolina which have little or no regulatory or financial oversight at the state or local level.

    These organizations have the mentality that they are untouchable and don't have to follow the rules because they serve the public. This is just the opposite! These emergency service organizations have an even bigger responsibility to hold themselves and their members to even a higher ethical and moral standard to ensure the publics trust.

    Sexual misconduct, financial indiscretions, backdoor politics and even discriminatory practices need to stop! The lack of sufficient leadership and integrity in any emergency service organization goes unnoticed by the public until it is to late.

    Local politicians need to pay closer attention. These are organizations that will eventually ruin a political career, bankrupt a town and most im

  • jjesusfreak01 Sep 23, 2010

    This kind of stinks. I believe the heavy rescue truck is only one of two in Wake County, so we're down to just the county owned rig now. It does make sense though to fold rescue into the FD. These guys are all firefighters with additional specialties in heavy rescue, so this should result in a more efficient overall system.

  • sunfundreamer Sep 23, 2010

    here kitty-kitty! cover it up.......quick!