Thursday, June 28, 2012
Sullivan County EMS Not Paid for Help with Hippie Gathering
Sullivan County’s EMS will not be receiving a penny of federal money for their help in covering an event at a national park. Over 10,000 self professed hippies are expected to congregate during the Rainbow Family of Light National Gathering at Cherokee National Park from June 29-July 5. Though the National Park Service asked Sullivan County EMS to respond to all emergency calls that may arise at the Gathering, they said they will not be compensating the EMS for their services. Gary Mayes, Regional Director with the Sullivan County EMS, says that though he will have his staff cover the event, he is upset that they won’t get paid. “We have a need to add additional equipment and manpower because we still have a responsibility to our visitors and we have a responsibility to our citizens. At no time do we want to have a substandard unit availability… so it’s not unreasonable to expect reimbursement for services we didn’t seek and ask for.” Mayes says that the EMS is asking Senators Alexander and Corker as well as Congressman Poe to support them in their request for reimbursement.