Former Cordell EMS Director Devin Humphrey said he was fired by Cordell Mayor Jerry Beech Wednesday.
The termination and the topic of outsourcing has come as a surprise to Cordell citizens, even some members of the city council.
Ambulance services are still being provided to residents of Cordell and surrounding areas after the director’s termination.
City council heard a presentation Monday to outsource EMS services to Pafford EMS.
Humphrey said no one was informed of what was going to be discussed at the meeting until a prior encounter with City Administrator J.C. Moser.
“We happened to catch the city administrator taking pictures of the ambulances, so I stopped and asked him what the deal was and he said it’s going to be Pafford EMS that is going to be coming in,” Humphrey said.
Once word spread, dozens of first responders packed Monday’s city council meeting.
Following Pafford EMS’s presentation, Humphrey said Beech allowed only two public comments.
“I’m the department head,” Humphrey said. “I felt like it was time to stand up for my people and find out exactly what the deal was.”
Humphrey said he was told by Beech the city was receiving complaints about EMS services. After attempting to ask further questions at Monday’s city council meeting, Humphrey said he was told by Beech to sit down.
Humphrey said he was called into the mayor’s office Wednesday and later fired.
News 9 reached out to Cordell Fire Chief Seth Slaughterback who said he has not received any complaints about EMS services or Humphrey’s performance.
Humphrey said Cordell EMS is not losing any money, saying he’s stayed below the $116,000 budget. According to Humphrey, Pafford EMS quoted city officials $240,000 to provide their services.
Humphrey doesn’t believe outsourcing EMS services is a good idea for the Cordell residents.
“You have someone who you know and who you trust that is there to help you,” Humphrey said. “An outside EMS source, they’re going to bring in people that don't know the citizens. Furthermore, they don't know the area.”
Councilmember Buddy Holman told News 9 he never told about Humphrey's termination. He supports keeping first responders local.
“We have a good set of crews down here,” Holman said. “The fire department, EMS, I know most of them personally. I see new faces, learning names and stuff. They've done a great job.”
Holman said he plans to get down to the bottom of what happened as residents brace for what may be to come.
“They have literally saved my life on more than one occasion and my son’s life,” Cordell resident Cherie Olson said. “If we would have had to get somebody from out of town, they might not have gotten here in time. We need that in Cordell.”
News 9 reached out to Cordell Mayor Jerry Beech and City Administrator J.C. Moser and have not heard back.