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Rescue Squad continues reorganization, approves offloading surplus equipment

SALISBURY — In an effort to continue reorganization of the Rowan County Rescue Squad, the executive board voted Tuesday to offload a number of surplus vehicles, giving members a first chance to buy them.

The sale would then go through a government surplus auction site at an agreed-upon price to local and regional volunteer fire and rescue departments.

The board has been undergoing changes since March when then-Chief Eddie Cress was suspended and placed on leave with no explanation given. Rowan County Emergency Services Director Chris Soliz has been the interim director since March 6. At a previous meeting, the Rescue Squad elected Allen Carlyle as chief, and he selected Phil York as his deputy chief.

TJ Brown, who has been managing the squad’s finances, was named director of administration.

Brown on Tuesday presented the board with a synopsis of the types of equipment the Rescue Squad no longer needs that could be used by another agency. The equipment includes a 1995 ambulance, a 1978 boat, a 2002 utility task vehicle (UTV) and a light bar that was removed from a 2010 ambulance.

In the past, the board gave the first option to Rescue Squad members who would submit sealed bids. After that, any other equipment would be made available on a surplus auction site for bids. All successful bids could not fall below a set price.

The board agreed on a minimum it would accept for specific equipment. Some equipment, including a 1978 V-Hull boat, would be offered to Ellis Cross Country Fire Department, which covers the Yadkin River. The station does not have a boat.

Carlyle suggested giving the equipment to the department, but the board voted to sell the equipment for $1.

In other business:

• The board approved the use of a purchase order form for items needed that cost more than $2,000 and approved the use of a payment voucher form.

The voucher would be implemented to expedite the bill payment process. Currently, the board has been hit with fees for late payments because the accounts are paid by check, and it takes a long time to process them. A voucher would require two signatures and would mean that some bills could be paid electronically.

• The board discussed leasing the China Grove station to American Transmed, a new ambulance franchise in Rowan County.

The owner, Greg Kirby, approached the squad about leasing the building. As director of administration, Brown will negotiate a lease agreement with Kirby.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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