Ask Us: Why were chief and wife let go from Rescue Squad?

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 9, 2019

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to

SALISBURY — The exact reason behind the departure of former Rowan County Rescue Squad Chief Eddie Cress and his wife, LuAnn, remains under wraps.

The board of directors of the Rescue Squad placed Eddie Cress on leave and then suspended him in March. He has since left the Rescue Squad.

A reader asked about the reason for the suspension, given that specific details were not made public.

LuAnn Cress and the Cress’ son, Austin, also stopped working with the Rescue Squad at that time. In July, Allen Carlyle was elected the new chief in a nearly unanimous vote. He nominated Phil York to be deputy chief.

While Carlyle did not respond to a request for comment, board of directors President Mike McDaniel said Cress was let go because of a personnel issue. Citing the fact that the decision was made in a closed-door meeting of the board, McDaniel did not give further details.

McDaniel said he does not recall if there was disciplinary action that led to the dismissal. He said there was a separation agreement between Cress and the board and directed further questions to Jeremy Carter, an attorney for the Rescue Squad.

The Salisbury Post has submitted a public records request for a copy of the agreement between the board of directors and Cress, arguing that it is subject to public records law because the squad receives most of its funding from county government and has members appointed by the county commissioners.

A letter from the Rescue Squad’s board of directors to County Manager Aaron Church in July noted that the agency receives “almost 74% of our funding through allocation and reimbursement of ambulance services” from county government.

The request for the agreement will be reviewed at the September meeting of the board of directors, Carter said.