Commissioners Deny Party Appointees to the Board of Elections

Published 7:41 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The Sumter County Board of Commissioners met on the 12th. Fire Chief Jerry Harmon addressed the Board with a request to pass a resolution that would levy fines for repeated false alarms.

“We have certain businesses here in town where we will run three or four false alarms a night.” The fine would be $100 dollars after the third false alarm. He mentioned the County spends $100-150 for each response to a false alarm.

Commissioner Jessie Smith addressed Harmon, asking whether $100 would be sufficient. Harmon expressed belief it would be a sufficient deterrent.
Commissioner Jim Reid made a motion to accept the resolution, Waddell seconded the motion, passing unanimously.

The Board voted on the appointment to the Board of Elections. Smith made a motion to reappoint Rhonda Reddick to the Board of Elections. Commissioner Clay Jones seconded the motion, with Mark Waddell, Jim Reid, and Chairman David Baldwin against.

Jones nominated Clarietta Pam Fields, another party nominee by the democratic committee. Smith seconded the motion. Waddell, Baldwin, and Ried voted against.
Jones nominated Elizabeth Robinson. Smith seconded the motion, with Waddell, Baldwin, and Reid voting against.

Chair David Baldwin stated the Board of Commissioners will be taking applications until April 5th for the Board of Elections.

Reid made a motion to appoint Harmon as the EMA director. Waddell seconded the motion, and Baldwin voted in the affirmative. The vote was three to zero.
Harmon addressed the Board.

“We got a major issue with our EMS. I have personally filed a complaint with the department of public health. A little over a week ago, we were short staffed, and I ran a call with my battalion chief, and they sent a single manned unit, one man in an ambulance.”

Harmon stated the Battalion Chief was forced to drive the ambulance. He mentioned that the same thing happened again that afternoon. “I had to leave an $800,000 fire truck sitting on the side of the road, unsecured, while he drove the ambulance in.”

He mentioned a call at the jail. “Here they come, nonchalant, just easing up in the driveway, no lights, no sirens, this kid’s been seizing for over 30 minutes.”
Harmon mentioned that the State was investigating.

Baldwin also mentioned witnessing issues. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time ambulances have been run with one person in them.” He mentioned a motorcycle accident that had occurred a few years prior where two were badly injured. Baldwin stated one ambulance showed up with two paramedics. One ambulance only had one. “Its not uncommon for a firefighter to ride an ambulance to the hospital. Particularly in cases of cardiac arrest, where there is two, three, four people in the back of an ambulance working on someone. What is uncommon, and not appropriate, was I personally drove the ambulance to Crisp County that day. I’m not an EMT. This is not an isolated incident. Personally I think we need to look at Gold Star’s contract.”

Attorney Hayden Hooks stated that it was a breach of contract. When contacted, Gold Star said they would investigate the issue.

Parks and Recreation Director Tim Estes gave updates on Rock Hill Park, stating it was 90% complete. He set April 6th as the tentative date for a ribbon cutting, schedules of the Commissioner’s permitting.