An audit to pinpoint timeclock abuse by county EMS employees is raising concerns within the department.
“I think the morale is down,” said County Commissioner Randy England during a Safety Committee meeting. “I got a phone call this morning saying the audit is in and they are going to fire five people Friday. I think it’s a situation of rumors starting to fly.”
England says the rumors are hurting morale and EMS director Brian Jennings needs to step in to stop it.
“I think you should get them all together and tell them to shut their mouths,” said England. “Tell them to stop it. The rumors are hurting morale. That’s just my opinion. I think it needs to be nipped in the bud. It’s your business to do that and calm them down.”
Commissioner Carl D. Bouldin added, “There is a lot of jibber jabber out there.”
The state audit is not finalized. It’s being conducted to investigate EMS timekeeping records. Specifically, it’s an attempt to determine which employees may have committed timeclock fraud by clocking their fellow employees in and out -- even when they were not at work.
To prevent such activities in the future, a new $4,600 biometric timeclock was installed. The new system requires a fingerpint to clock employees in and out.
Leading to rumors of upcoming terminations could have been a November 2014 meeting where Jennings was extensively questioned about the situation. While Jennings said the issues have stopped since the biometric system was installed, Commissioners Bouldin and England agreed any employee willing to be dishonest about time is not someone who needs to be employed by EMS.
Jennings says all businesses have issues with rumors and EMS is not an exception. However, the situation is worse at EMS this time.
The employees with a reason to be worried are becoming evident, says Bouldin.
“There are two or three worried,” said Bouldin. “It’s starting to show who shouldn’t be worried and who should be worried.”
Commissioner Charles Morgan agreed the situation with one or two employees is unfortunate given the department’s overall professionalism on the job.
“My family has used them a lot. I will say they, and them not knowing me, have always been professional and quick,” Morgan said. “They have always been very professional. I appreciate what they did, how they did it and how they handled themselves.”