Thursday, December 08, 2022


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News Article
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Gilbertsville Ambulance Abruptly Removes Chief
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            While the Gilbertsville Area Community Ambulance Service was out of service in Douglass Township, the board of directors removed Garry Schmoltze Sr. as its chief of operations on Monday. The next day, the township's emergency management coordinator reinstated the service in the municipality following a two-day, five-hour hiatus.

            Schmoltze confirmed during a brief phone conversation Tuesday morning that he was fired. Jessica Gisinger, a member of the ambulance board, declined to comment on the reasons for the dismissal.

            On Saturday employees of the service discovered multiple firearms and ammunition stored at their facility, located at 91 Jackson Road. They expressed concern for their safety as well as concerns over internal financial matters, according to Barry Templin, chief of the Douglass Township Police Department.

            A search of the property turned up no firearms or ammunition. Authorities later determined that they had been removed before officers arrived, according to a news release received late Wednesday morning. It states that the ambulance service has not officially filed a complaint with the Douglass Township Police Department relating to any concerns over internal financial matters. 

            Andrew Duncan, Douglass Township's emergency management coordinator and the fire chief of Station 67, initially took the Gilbertsville Community Ambulance group out of service in Douglass Township at 6 a.m. on Sunday.

            According to supervisors Chairman Joshua Stouch, Duncan made the move over concerns related to staffing and personnel issues. An email message from Manager Pete Hiryak described those concerns as serious.

            At approximately, 11 a.m. Tuesday, the organization was placed back into service with the Montgomery County 9-1-1 dispatch. The organization resumed with all its current officers retained along with John Doucette – who currently serves on the municipality's emergency services board – as the interim chief, according to Hiryak. 

           In a separate message, the manager wrote that "it remains to be seen if the ambulance can continue to get the staff required to continue to handle medical calls on a regular basis."

            Municipal officials proposed appointing Doucette – who has been with the organization for the last five years and has more than 30 years of experience in Emergency Medical Services and EMS education – to lead the service, according to Gisinger. She wrote in an email received Tuesday afternoon that the ambulance agency agreed.

            The ambulance board made the decision to dismiss Schmoltze during an emergency special meeting Sunday, according to Gisinger. Supervisors did not discuss the issue during the public or private portion of their scheduled board meeting the following day, according to Stouch. On Tuesday, he expressed confidence that the personnel change would allow the organization to "continue providing the best possible emergency services to residents of Douglass Township and the surrounding community."

            During a phone call with Schmoltze who, according to his Linkedin page, has worked as a deputy coroner in the Montgomery County Coroner's Office since 2004, claimed he was let go "without the proper paperwork." He promised to call back after conferring with his attorney but did not contact the Town and Country before its Wednesday afternoon deadline.






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