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
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.