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Polk County EMS director fired

The first letter, dated June 4 said that Halford was hereby advised that effective immediately, her employment with Polk County was terminated with just cause. “This decision was reached based upon the evidence summarized to you during the pre-dismissal conference held with you on May 31, 2013, as well as your (lack of) response thereto,” states the June 4 letter, also signed by Pittman and Gage. “The specific reasons for your dismissal are detrimental personal conduct as defined in the Polk County Personnel Manual, as well as current incidents of unacceptable personal conduct as defined in North Carolina Administrative Code OII.2304.”

The June 4 letter also advised Halford of her rights to appeal the decision and attached a document with information on her appeal rights.

Pittman said EMS employee Penny Evans is taking care of the department’s day-to-day operations and he intends to move quickly to advertise to fill the position. The county is also in the process of hiring a fire marshal/emergency management director after deciding earlier this year to split Halford’s duties. She was the EMS director, as well as the county’s fire marshal and emergency management director.

Pittman said applications are being reviewed for the fire marshal/emergency management director and he would like to have someone in place to begin on July 1, when the new budget year begins.

Halford worked with Polk County for almost 23 years. She started as a paramedic on July 1, 1990, was hired as the county’s emergency management director in 1999 and as the EMS/emergency management director in 2004.

Halford did not respond to a message for comment as of press time.