• 77°

Editorial: Members must have say in Rescue Squad’s future

Cool heads must prevail in discussions about the Rowan County Rescue Squad’s future.

When Rescue Squad Chief Eddie Cress was placed on leave in March, it set off a debate among the agency’s board members about reforming the agency. One option that’s been floated would fold the it into a county department. That would spell the end of the Rescue Squad as we know it.

County government funds the squad to the tune of about $430,000 per year. Ambulance services provided to the county represent another significant revenue source — about $131,000. So, while it’s a nonprofit not directly subject to county government’s instructions, the Rescue Squad relies on it for a large share of its funding.

Also significant is the United Way’s funding — about $53,000. That may dissapear regardless of steps county government takes, as the United Way is changing its funding model. The squad’s annual portrait fundraiser is budgeted to raise $124,000 this year.

A bit of comfort for those worried about the Rescue Squad disbanding may come from County Commissioner Mike Caskey, who sits on the agency’s board and says simply pulling county funding is an extreme option.

However, Caskey also says he’s interested in taking a detailed look at reform; it’s better to deal with two uncomfortable matters at once than months or years apart, he told the Post after the meeting Tuesday night. He suggested that an option may be a slimmed down rescue squad only focusing on its core mission — rescue. And his opinion, while only one of five county commissioners, is important because he also owns a vote on the Rescue Squad’s board.

Still, if we’re at the beginning of a debate about reforming the Rescue Squad, the decision cannot be made by its board alone. Members must have a significant say in the agency’s future, too.

A calm, reasoned debate is the best solution. That debate might begin with the future of current chief Eddie Cress. Will Cress stay on in his position and, if not, how will a new chief be selected — the board, members or some combination of the two?

Comments

BREAKING NEWS

Catawba College receives record $200 million contribution to endowment

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found at Salisbury home

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office releases details of NASCAR driver’s assault at coworker’s home

Elections

Council candidates discuss city’s handling of ‘Fame’ relocation, protesting, pandemic

Business

Making Memore: Entrepreneurs harness power of Kannapolis’ Food Innovation Lab

Education

Shoutouts

Business

DuPont purchases Salisbury-based manufacturing business

Christmas Happiness

Christmas Bureau opens applications for families to get holiday assistance

Education

Spencer Library hosts life pathways event

Local

Salisbury-Rowan NAACP President Gemale Black seeking state branch’s top spot

Education

A fall theme on learning math at Mt. Ulla Elementary

High School

High school volleyball: West takes tournament title with victory over South

News

State briefs: Man charged after woman found dead in Davie home

News

GOP bill on NC governor’s emergency powers heads to his desk

Nation/World

Big changes in White House ideas to pay for $2 trillion plan

Nation/World

FDA OKs mixing COVID vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters

Crime

NASCAR driver jailed on Rowan County assault charges

Education

Knox assistant principal resigns after video showing student confrontation

Crime

Woodleaf man jailed after two-county car chase

Elections

Rowan Board of Elections criticized for debating replacement of poll supervisor

Business

NC Small Business Administration official talks to Rowan Chamber about pandemic help

Local

Spencer aldermen, mayor candidates talk town’s future

High School

High school girls golf: Mustangs win regional, advance to state

Local

Firms hoping to lead Salisbury manager search will make pitches to council members Friday