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Garner emergency services hope to turn corner in 2011

The new chief of the department formerly known as the Garner EMS and Rescue Squad said his organization is ready to put the struggles of 2010 in the past.

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GARNER, N.C. — The new chief of the department formerly known as the Garner EMS and Rescue Squad said his organization is ready to put the struggles of 2010 in the past.

“It was a tough year for emergency services altogether in the Garner area,” said Vance Haywood, Jr., chief of Garner’s Medical Transport Service.

Last year, a financial scandal rocked the Volunteer Fire Department when a former bookkeeper was accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from the department.

Then, former Garner EMS Chief Bill Frederick was convicted of assaulting a part-time employee of the agency. He was eventually convicted of assault on a female.

Haywood said this year he plans to continue enforcing existing policies that include a zero tolerance for harassment of any kind.

“I don’t think that either agency wants to see the actions of one or two people bring down an entire agency or bring a negative light on what the agency is doing,” he said.

Haywood said he also wants to launch new programs, including a CPR course for the public.

Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams believes the town now has the right people in leadership roles.

“We’re satisfied that we’re about to turn the corner and we’re on the right path, new direction, new leadership. Things are better than they’ve been in a long time for Garner emergency services,” Williams said.

The Garner Volunteer Fire Department took over the town’s search and rescue services in October.

Volunteer Fire Department Chief Matthew Poole took over when Paul Mitchell stepped down, following last year’s financial scandal.

Paramedics no longer operate out of Garner. Wake County handles those duties.

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 Credits

Ken Smith, Reporter
Greg Hutchinson, Photographer
Kathy Hanrahan, Web Editor

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