County’s EMS director fired

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, April 19, 2012

Interim County Administrator Gary Breedlove fired County EMS Director Bill Hogan on Thursday morning, after Hogan reportedly violated several county policies when he was involved in a recent accident involving a county-issued vehicle.

On Saturday, April 7, Hogan was reportedly driving his county-issued EMS director’s SUV when he struck a mailbox on State Route 91 North, just inside the southern portion of Dougherty County, sometime between noon and 1 p.m. Saturday. He was transported to an Albany, Ga., hospital but released later Saturday evening. Breedlove previously said the vehicle suffered “minimal” damage.

Thursday afternoon, Breedlove said medical reports showed that Hogan reportedly had “evidence of drugs in his system,” although he did not have enough information to state the type of drugs.

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“[Hogan] was told of his termination this morning,” Breedlove said. “He broke our policy concerning unauthorized use of a county vehicle. His medical records showed evidence of drugs in his system, and that is another cardinal violation of our policies. There was also damage to a county vehicle, which is another violation.

“All of these violations would be severe for any county employee, but there is an extra emphasis because he is a director. His business is taking care of people in emergency situations. That magnifies the degree of responsibility that you expect to see used in your day-to-day duties.”

Breedlove said Deputy EMS Chief Larry Battle is currently serving as acting EMS director.

“Larry has 25 years of experience,” he said. “He’s just the acting director for now, but we know he’ll handle the day-to-day business. We’re doing a complete review of the department and we’ll have to see where we go from there.”

Breedlove said it was his decision to fire Hogan, and that decision was based solely on the accident and its aftermath.

“I didn’t delve into any background on his job performance in the past,” he said. “This incident was severe enough to warrant my decision.”