GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Three days after a petition was signed by hundreds of people online calling for a no confidence vote in Greenville County EMS administration due to poor working conditions and unethical practices, Greenville County’s EMS Director Tim Gault has put in his papers for retirement.
Chairman of the Greenville County Council Butch Kirven confirmed that Gault put in his papers for retirement on Wednesday.
According to Gault’s bio on the Greenville County website, he began working as a paramedic in 1991.
County Councilman Lynn Ballard said Gault’s last day will be in March.
“He said, ‘I’ve decided it’s time for me to go,'” Ballard said Thursday.
When asked if Ballard thought the timing of Gault’s retirement was related to recent scrutiny over the GCEMS administration, Ballard said he didn’t believe so.
“We’ve had that conversation at least 2 or 3 times over the past year that he’s going to retire before much longer.”
Current and former Greenville County EMS workers told us Thursday afternoon that they believed otherwise.
One paramedic with the county who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of losing his job, gave the following statement:
“To our knowledge and from what crews were told, Tim Gault had no plans on retiring. Some employees find the timing suspect. Considering the issues of transparency between administration and field crews, it would be an insult to crews if they are attempting to obscure the truth behind this departure.”
We also obtained an internal report completed by a former employee, Laura Clanton, which surveyed employee retention in November.
The results of the survey showed that one third of the 112 employees surveyed said they “very seriously” considered leaving their current position with Greenville County EMS over the past year.
As for why, 61 percent said it was due to dissatisfaction with leadership.
The survey results also included specific comments from employees, including:
“Severely overworked and understaffed. Leadership is negative and there is no positive future for gcems without drastic changes.”
“This place has become a joke.”
“The leadership is the largest and worst issue at GCEMS.”
We spoke to Laura Clanton over the phone about the survey Thursday, who said she was put on leave on Jan. 3 for an internal investigation into why the survey was released, and she was later fired on Jan. 11.
Below is a copy of Clanton’ letter of termination:
Clanton added that Deputy Director Sally Warwick told her that the administration was concerned the results would get to county council and make leadership “look bad.”
We reached out to Government Affairs Coordinator Bob Mihalic Thursday who declined interview requests for Gault and other members of Greenville County EMS leadership.
We reported on Tuesday about an online petition that is calling out Greeville County EMS administration for a number of issues, including reporting inaccurate response times, a lack of personnel to respond to calls, and low morale and fatigue among parademics.