The Ozark Fire Chief is coming under fire himself.
Since this is an ongoing investigation, there are very little details. But WTVY has confirmed with Ozark Mayor Billy Blackwell that Ozark’s Fire Chief Greg Boutwell has been place on unpaid suspension indefinitely.
Officials started questioning Chief Boutwell because of an accident in Dale County last week. A young man was severely injured after his four wheeler flipped near County Road 61 and County Road 59.
Echo Rescue crews who were dispatched to the scene said dispatch was told to send a medical helicopter because of the victim’s serious injuries.
Here is where things get a little complicated. This accident happened outside of Chief Boutwell’s jurisdiction. However, he allegedly heard the call for the medical helicopter and told the dispatcher it was a bad idea.
Officials are still investigating that claim. According to Rocky Windham, who was on scene the helicopter was en route and then canceled. Regardless, the call was canceled and the patient went by ambulance to a local hospital.
Part of the investigation is determining if this move delayed the patient’s care.
The E-911 Director Larry Daniels said as of today the dispatcher involved has not been suspended. But, they are reviewing the 911 tapes and are going over everything with the board and attorney.
I also spoke with Chief Boutwell who could not comment on camera today but would like to share his side of the story in the future.
The Operations Chief Steve Sketo is taking over the responsibilities as chief for fire and EMS.