GASTON COUNTY, N.C. -- The NBC Charlotte Defenders is breaking new details about a local medical team’s alleged misconduct.
The Gaston EMS crew was sent to Bladen County for hurricane relief during Florence. County officials said two people are out of a job and multiple others suspended for alcohol related reasons.
Now for the first time, Gaston EMS is detailing the exact violations that took place.
Gaston EMS sent NBC Charlotte a list of violations that led to the disciplinary action, ranging from department procedures all the way up to the state level. According to Gaston EMS, their crew violated standard department procedures of “No alcohol within eight hours of work”.
There were also violations of county policy listed. That includes the following:
- No alcoholic beverages may be carried in County vehicles at any time except where law enforcement agencies may be required to transport evidence in criminal investigations.
- Participating in an action which could, in any way, seriously disturb or disrupt the normal operation of any branch of County government, or impair the integrity or trust of County Government.
- Dishonesty: As far as state rules, the North Carolina Office of Emergency management has training handouts and rules for deployment teams. Gaston EMS says those disciplined violated the rule of “No alcohol will be transported or consumed”, which is listed in handouts and rules by NCOEMS for Ambulance Strike Team Deployment.
It’s important to note that not everyone on that 10-member crew were accused of misconduct. In fact, county officials say at least one member of the crew was the whistleblower who notified county officials of the misconduct.
In all, one person was fired, another resigned, and several others were suspended. County officials said the Gaston EMS crew was not being paid at the time of the alleged misconduct, but they were on call, and could have been sent out at any time.
“They were guests of the folks of Bladen County and we should have been operating completely professional and I think the message has been sent,” Gaston County Commissioner Ronnie Worley previously told NBC Charlotte.
Gaston EMS said the person who was fired has appealed the decision.