By Bob Weaver

Don Smith, Chief of the Roane County Emergency Squad for nineteen years, has resigned. "I could no longer function as Chief of the squad and its day to day operations," he said. Smith is widely recognized for his skill and knowledge in EMS circles.

Smith said the 10-person Board of Directors appointed Aaron Cottle, the current Board President to a newly created position in April, and is now the Executive Director of the squad. "He now holds both positions," said Smith, who contends the change has caused a "critical" conflict in management. "I was no longer allowed to function in my job description," he concluded.

Cottle said "The changes are difficult, but they will have little effect on the care delivered to the people of Roane County." He said a state-wide search would begin for a new Chief.

The Assistant Chief of the Roane EMS John Ford, has also resigned, along with several EMT's and some volunteers, according to a squad member. Most of the resignations are effective June 30th.

Eight members of the Roane County Emergency Squad accepted Smith's resignation, effectively placing Cottle in charge of the operation. Cottle is a physician whose license has been suspended, but has been active in community affairs and was a former Fire Chief of the Spencer-Roane Volunteer Fire Department.

Board members in attendance, Wally Board, John Varda, Gary Martin, Richard Nash, Judy Fouty, Paul Harris, in addition to Cottle and Smith. Two Board members were absent at the meeting.

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