Fire Chief Controversy Sparks Policy Changes

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Dale County leaders are taking steps to make sure cases like the one surrounding the Ozark Fire Chief never happen again.

Today the E911 board met and approved an amendment to their bylaws. It allows them to discipline the unethical behavior of any board member.

This comes after Ozark Fire Chief Greg Boutwell was suspended from the board for a year, after interfering with a call outside of his jurisdiction.

Tim Byrd, E911 Chairman said, “This does not happen everyday, this was a very isolated incident that involved the one board member. We’ve taken all the corrective actions in the world and the people we are dealing with in the community concerning the incident have come to us, they want to work with us. They understand the situation, that we got put in a very tenuous situation.”

Chief Boutwell will return from his unpaid suspension next week.
He apologized the E911 board today behind closed doors.

Echo EMS Board of Directors released the following statement: "Approximately 26 days ago, on April 3, 2013 around 7:30pm, a four-wheeler accident occurred at County Road 59 and County Road 61 in Dale County. Even though the time from the call being answered at dispatch until the patient’s arrived at the hospital was only 35 minutes, a patient’s life and the patient’s family members’ lives have been changed forever by this accident. Echo EMS continues to pray for the patient and the family.

Even with the tragic accident, a controversy over a medical helicopter (Flat Iron) being called and then cancelled by someone not on scene has ensued.

Echo EMS would like to express our unwavering trust and support of the Ozark Dale County E911 Dispatch Center and the dispatchers that are the initial step in providing the help and care that is needed for the public. Echo EMS wants to continue to work hand-in-hand with Ozark Dale County E911 Dispatch. The Dispatcher on April 3, 2013 worked hard to assist Echo EMS with the incident. The Dispatcher should be recognized for her dedication to her job, the county, and the city that she serves.

Echo EMS would also like to continue working together with the members of Ozark EMS, Ozark Fire Department, and the City of Ozark in providing an effective and dependable emergency medical service. Echo EMS wants a good working relationship where all departments can work to accomplish one common goal, great professional patient care.

Even though Echo EMS is a 100% volunteer ambulance service we continue to strive for excellence on every single call. Thank you to the community of Echo and the surrounding area for your support."

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