published Monday, April 30th, 2012

Funding restored to Marion Rescue Squad

Marion County Rescue Squad members in November 2009 work with the Volunteer State Rescue Squad to search for the the remains of three fishermen killed at Nickajack Dam.
Marion County Rescue Squad members in November 2009 work with the Volunteer State Rescue Squad to search for the the remains of three fishermen killed at Nickajack Dam.
Photo by Dan Henry.

JASPER, Tenn. -- When a board acts on a motion by one of its members, the devil is always in the details.

In September 2011, the Marion County Commission voted to reinstate 25 percent, or about $48,000, of the estimated $193,000 that rural volunteer fire departments, the Marion County Rescue Squad and Marion County Emergency Management lost in last year's budget cuts.

In February, the board voted to restore another 25 percent, but forgot to mention the rescue squad or emergency management in the motion.

"In the second round, both the rescue squad and emergency management were excluded due to the wording [of the motion]," County Emergency Management Director Steve Lamb said.

Officials planned to bring the issue up at last month's board meeting, but the rescue squad and emergency management crews were on a call at the time, Lamb said.

"We're just asking that we be raised to the same level like the fire departments," he said.

Last week, the board voted unanimously to restore another 25 percent for the organizations that were left out in February.

Marion County Mayor John Graham said the wording of the motion the board approved in February "didn't allude to anything other than the fire departments," and "it probably needs to."

Commissioner Tommy Thompson, who made the motion to reinstate an additional 25 percent to the rescue squad and emergency management, said he didn't think there was "any special wording" the first time the board restored some of the funding.

"We automatically did it the first time," he said. "I'm just wondering why it wasn't that way the second time."

In fact, the rescue squad and emergency management were mentioned in the September 2011 motion, officials said.

Graham said county officials must go by the exact wording of those motions made by members of the board, and only rural volunteer fire departments were mentioned during the last round of funding restoration.

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