Battling Bradley Chiefs Put End to Feud

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Bradley County’s fire/rescue and EMS services have promised closer cooperation after a January incident where firefighters refused to help load a traffic crash patient into an ambulance.

County Mayor D. Gary Davis, who directed Fire Chief Dewey Woody and Emergency Medical Service Chief Danny Lawson to resolve their differences, reviewed their reports Tuesday and commended the chiefs for their leadership.

“Bradley County has an outstanding and professional emergency responder staff made up of well-trained and professional EMS personnel and well trained and professional fire and rescue personnel,” Mr. Davis said.

Video of the Interstate 75 crash showed fire and rescue personnel standing by as an ambulance crew struggled to hoist a stretcher up an embankment. A deputy and state trooper reportedly stepped in to help. Mr. Davis scolded the fire chief for unprofessional conduct and directed the two to resolve the issue.

In their reports, the chiefs agreed to use the National Incident Management System.

“When followed, the NIMS system directs all communication to the incident commander who is the person in charge of every emergency,” Mr. Davis said. He said the system and plain language will lessen misunderstandings.

Chief Woody wrote that commanders in both agencies will meet monthly to “identify improvements in service and to maintain better and open communications.”

Mr. Lawson wrote that he reminded EMS personnel that “we are fellow emergency response brothers and that is something we did not forget or take for granted.” He also encouraged EMS workers not to speak or write “derogatory conversations which would possibly reflect badly on our community or our character.”

The new cooperation plan was put into effect immediately, both chiefs said.

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