Perry resigns post as chief

Published 6:37 pm Thursday, June 14, 2018

Tom Perry, chief of Cumberland County Fire & (Emergency Medical Services) EMS, announced his resignation from his post June 8.

Tom Perry

Perry, in a social media post on the Cumberland County Fire & EMS page, said the decision was a difficult one.

Perry did not disclose in the release the reason for the resignation.

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He noted several accomplishments he headed with the department, including appointing two fire marshals, offering training through state and national organizations and creating better relationships with other area fire & rescue departments.

“We were able to accomplish many things in my time as chief including appointing two qualified fire marshals, improving relationships with our neighboring county fire & rescue departments, getting members trained in flammable liquid fires through (Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service) TEEX and (Security and Emergency Response Training Center) SERTC, acquiring the County’s EMS transport license, bringing in a countywide (Operational Medical Director) OMD, as well as many other accomplishments that we were able to gain through improved cooperation,” Perry said in the announcement.

Perry was appointed as chief in August 2016.

“To the citizens of Cumberland, keep demanding high quality service from the County and the volunteer fire & EMS organizations,” Perry said. “Consider giving of your time to volunteer, and remain vigilant in improving the County of Cumberland. Let your voice be heard and help make changes if necessary. It has been my honor to serve the citizens of Cumberland and I am still around if there is anything I can ever do to help.”

Perry has been contacted by The Herald for comment.

County Administrator and Attorney Vivian Seay Giles said the county is currently examining the department.

“We are evaluating how the county will move forward,” Giles said. “No decisions have been made at this time.”

During Tuesday’s Cumberland Board of Supervisors meeting, Kimberly Lightfoot, chief of operations with the Cartersville Volunteer Rescue Squad, said the board did not notify the agency of Perry’s resignation. Lightfoot said the squad is affiliated with Cumberland County Fire & EMS.

“I am very disappointed in each and every one of you that it has been exactly one week since Tom Perry, chief of Cumberland County Department of Fire & EMS has resigned,” Lightfoot said. “There has been absolutely no contact from any one of you on the county level to notify our agency of his resignation.”

“This county needs to come together to have all Fire & EMS agencies working together, and every agency should be accountable at the same level,” Lightfoot said, and noted Perry’s resignation was a great loss to the county.

Board Chairman Kevin Ingle addressed Lightfoot’s comment during the meeting. He did not say why the county had not notified the agency.

“We didn’t notify about Tom’s resignation,” Ingle said. “But I do apologize for not doing that.”