It was evident, the Rowan County Judge Executive had already made up his mind about the fate of the county's rescue squad, before a meeting Tuesday morning. A petition, presentation, and emotional pleas didn't deter Jim Nickell from his decision to close the squad.
For members of the squad, Tuesday's decision didn't sit well. "It seemed like it didn't mean anything to them. It's like, We've got this, but we're not going to listen to you. We're going to hear you, but we're not going to listen to you, because our mind's made up.'"
Nickell told members of the now former Morehead-Rowan County Rescue Squad this was mainly his decision. Squad members insisted their services, going back some 37 years, were vital to the community. "We really feel like this service is something the county can't do without, something the region can't do without. We're a leader in the region."
But, their argument wasn't strong enough to persuade county leaders to keep them afloat. "In this day and time, I think it's in the best interest of the county, that we consolidate", said Nickell.
County officials say fire departments can do the same job, and taxpayers will save money by not having to support the team through liability insurance costs.
Now that the county has shut down the rescue squad, former members say they'll be joining crews in Bath County. They tell us they hope they can still pitch in and help out when possible in Rowan county.