Rescue Squad chief placed on leave for 60 days

Published 2:31 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Rowan County Rescue Squad Chief Eddie Cress was placed on administrative leave for 60 days effective Tuesday.

Meanwhile, County Manager Aaron Church said county government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Rowan Rescue Squad and appointed Chris Soliz, the county’s emergency services chief, to be the interim chief for 60 days.

Cress was placed on leave by the rescue squad’s board of directors during a Tuesday evening meeting. The reason for the leave was not given. No other details were provided by Church.

In a news release, Soliz said, “We will provide management of daily operations without change to services.”

Cress did not respond to a request for comment.

Church said the agreement between the rescue squad and county government was one page, does not include an exchange of money and states simply that Rowan County Emergency Services will be the management entity.

The rescue squad is a nonprofit organization, not a public agency, but it receives a large portion of its funding — Church said $430,000 — from Rowan County. It provides rescue services and backup ambulance service for the county, as well as assistance on some fire and accident calls.

The organization earns money by providing backup service as well as through the United Way.