EMS Director Fired

August 2, 2013

Today sometime before 3PM, Ellette Jackson, EMS Director was fired.  Mr. Jackson didn’t have a chance in Jasper County.  While the last BOC was still in office, Jarrett Slocumb had told many of the EMT’s and firefighters that he would be the next EMS Director and that Lorri Smith would appoint him to be such.  Being that he was not qualified for the position made no difference.  He was supposedly promised the job by the new BOC as soon as they were in office.

When it did not happen the way he hoped, numerous things started happening, including having his long time mentor’s wife, Sabrina Westbrook, pressure the BOC with the usual threat of everyone was going to quit.  She sent the following email to the BOC (this was obtained through open records request):

From: EDWARD WESTBROOK <shadydalefc@bellsouth.net>
Date: February 1, 2013 11:02:27 PM GMT-04:00
To: cpennamon@yahoo.com, gtrammell@jaspercountyga.org, csalmon@jaspercountyga.org, dluke@jaspercountyga.org
Subject: Fw: Needs Fixin Fast

– Forwarded Message —-
From: EDWARD WESTBROOK <shadydalefc@bellsouth.net>
To: bhenry@jaspercountyga.org
Sent: Fri, February 1, 2013 9:56:27 PM
Subject: Needs Fixin Fast

Bruce, I had a lengthy email written out for you then scrapped it to say only this. There is a BIG problem with the new Emergency Services Director Ellette Jackson. There is an EASY FIX for it (or part of it anyway). The man should not be in charge of Chief Slocumb and the Fire Services. Period. He is not a Firefighter. He is giving directives to take Chief Slocumb away from being available to respond as he was hired to do (example being that beginning next week Chief Slocumb is to begin working a 24 hour shift on an ambulance as EMT, thus leaving him available for his duties as County Fire Chief only two days a week.). Chief Slocumb has worked very hard to keep the Fire Services where we are today. That is a full time job. Perhaps Mr. Jackson can manage EMS, but Chief Slocumb is the County Fire Chief and should be considered a Department Head answering directly to the County  Manager. The morale of the Fire Department is very low due to the numerous issues that are arising since Mr. Jackson was hired – issues concerning professionalism, firefighter safety, equipment, future grant monies and past grant monies, training and reporting records. I have one question – is the current Board of Commissioners willing to lose Chief Slocumb AND its 50 volunteer firefighters ??? That is exactly where this is heading in a rapid spin. I hope and pray that this issue will be in the forefront at the next Board of Commissioners meeting. Thank you for your time and for your willingness to  serve in the capacity of Commissioner.   

Chief Sabrina Westbrook, Jasper County Fire Services, Station 2, Shady Dale

The “fix” has been in to terminate Mr. Jackson since almost the day he was hired.  The dissention between Fire and EMS has been perpetuated with Chief Slocumb’s full participation, and the BOC via their county managers (Smith and Robinson) have continued to condone it.

Sources tell us that yesterday, EMT’s from Station 3, where Chief Slocumb has his office, were allowed to parade through the BOC office and tell of their complaints about Mr. Jackson to the new County Manager.  No one from Station 1 was called in and asked anything.  Mr. Jackson was not given the opportunity to defend himself when he was called in, but was told he was fired for not giving the EMT’s training.

We will be watching to see now that Jarrett Slocumb is “over EMS” (with what qualifications?) if EMT’s and Firefighters now start their push to keep the service local.  Up until this time EMT’s were told by the previous interim County Manager Robinson that the BOC said they could not speak about privatization. 

It is interesting that Comm. Carl Pennamon was on his way out of the BOC office when Mr. Jackson was on his way in.  Comm. Pennamon was also in Sharon Robinson’s office Wednesday afternoon along with Jan Gaston, hospital administrator, before the EMS committee meeting started. 

Both Comm. Pennamon and Jan Gaston have long promoted privatization.  Terminating the EMS Director is just one step closer to doing so.

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6 Responses to EMS Director Fired

  1. phil says:

    While pondering this issue for the past 24hrs and reading Chief Slocumb’s comments in the paper I find it very entertaining that he was preemptively lobbying for the direectors postion Of a combined service. While Chief Slocumb may have many cercertificates in fire and his EMT he has no real knowledge or experience considering he has only ever worked in Jasper County he is limited to what he has been exposed to. Also it’s my understanding that he has never worked as an EMT before so again he has nothing to draw from. I think bringing in an outside person was and still is a good idea, but the BOC and the county manager have to allow him or her to do the job and support them. How do you expect a service to grow and thrive of you allow people to play games. EMS does not stand a chance adslong as Chief Slocumb is around..

  2. elm tree says:

    EMS has been a mess since it’s inception. We have had a couple of good directors but our county officials are unable to recognize a competent director. It’s Classic Dilbert here in Jasper County, incompetence rises to the top. There are issues with every county department, and as the previous poster stated, garbage pickup is the only service without major issues. Probably because they are operated by a certain organized group that even our illustrious county leaders are smart enough not to mess with. Wonder what would happen if one of our county commissioners needed an ambulance, and had a problem with getting competent service? Greed and Selfishness…..The Jasper County Motto.

  3. Just Askin' says:

    Maybe Sabrina Westbrook was worried that Jarrett would actually have to get on an ambulance and everybody would find out he had no clue what he was doing. Why don’t you check to see just how he got his EMT?

  4. Emmy says:

    EMS has NEVER been right in this county! If we are not required by law to provide it, then don’t. It’s a waste of money because the politics involved will not allow for a quality service. There are too many incompetents involved to allow for competent leadership of this and all other county services. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The only county service that is provided with any level of quality is the garbage service, and that is because it is not operated or controlled by the county. Even our sheriff is hampered in performing his duties by county politics. Big frogs in a little pond.

  5. phil says:

    what is it going to take to bring about some positive change. Does the BOC or the county manager not understand that that until Chief Slocum is dealt with, no matter who they bring in there will never be peace. Speaking of Chief Slocum when exactly did he get that title because I don’t remember ever seeing any ad in the paper for the open position. Was it just handed over to him. We all will be watching the progress of this situation.

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