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‘… just kill yourself or leave’ – career advice to EMS crews from a county administrator

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Through the years I’ve heard of lots of bad bosses in fire and EMS. Sounds like this one from Richland County, South Carolina is headed for the bad boss hall of fame.

Rachel Myers Lowe, thestate.com:

Richland County disciplined an assistant county administrator on Friday after a statement he made about suicide during a training session with emergency medical services personnel on Thursday.

“The fact that such comments were made will not be tolerated,” said Richland County Administrator Gerald Seals in a news release Friday night. “Any reference to suicide in a cavalier manner is unacceptable and a public apology is warranted – and given,” Seals said.

In an email to EMS employees published by independent journalist Ron Aiken, Bronson acknowledged his comment was inappropriate and insensitive. He apologized and said “the time I spent in the woodshed was both painful and appropriate.”

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Caroline Patrickis, WIS-TV:

Kevin Bronson, the assistant county administrator for public safety, reportedly said those remarks during a Thursday morning meeting with about 100 Richland County EMS workers.

Bronson told EMS workers of a list of complaints he had received from an employee. The list, Bronson reportedly said, had been hanging over him.

We have received a list of grievances from a former paramedic with Richland County, Matt Gottlieb. It’s unclear if Gottlieb’s list is the list Bronson was referencing before his comments. That list is an 8-page document of issues Gottlieb wished would be fixed.

Read complaint from former paramedic

“So I’m looking through this list with 50 different problems and if it’s really that bad you can just kill yourself or leave,” Bronson reportedly said, according to one of the people in the audience.

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