Shake-up at Rural/Metro in Blount Co. as 9 employees resign and

Shake-up at Rural/Metro in Blount Co. as 9 employees resign and walk out

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Those nine employees included the general manager, two office workers, and six paramedics. They all took jobs at Priority Ambulance which will soon open a Blount County location. Those nine employees included the general manager, two office workers, and six paramedics. They all took jobs at Priority Ambulance which will soon open a Blount County location.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

BLOUNT COUNTY (WATE) - Business was anything but usual Monday at Rural/Metro headquarters in Blount County, that's because at 9 a.m., nine employees turned in letters of resignation then walked out.

We spoke with one of the nine workers who left their job at Rural/Metro in Blount County who did not point to one specific reason as to why they all left, saying it was simply a career move.

"The responsible thing to do is to give enough notice so that if you're not going to be at work that day someone else can be," said Rural/Metro Regional Director Jerry Harnish.

Those nine employees included the general manager, two office workers, and six paramedics. They all took jobs at Priority Ambulance which will soon open a Blount County location.

"This was just a better opportunity for us and the other employees," said Ron Parker who stepped down as General Manager.

While it seems odd to leave without any kind of warning, Parker says that move was not an act of defiance and each employee made the decision to leave on their own.

"We were staffed at the time, the opportunity was there. People were there to run the calls and do the job," he said.

Parker says he was simply following protocol for when a staff member takes a job with a competing ambulance company.

"We would expect them to give notice. The difference is if someone tells us they wish to work for a competitor usually we won't hold them to the two weeks," added Harnish.

Since the resignations Rural/Metro in Blount County already has a plan to fill in the gaps, one being to use part-time employees.

"They were able to handle every call for service," said Harnish.

Rural/Metro officials also say there should be no impact on emergency service or response time in Blount County with these employees resigning. We've learned 12-year veteran Jonathan Rogers is stepping in as general manager and 72 people currently work at the Rural/Metro location in Blount County.

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