(La Porte County, IN) - The longtime LaPorte County Emergency Medical Services administrator has resigned after employees reportedly went to the top with concerns about his ability to further lead the department.
A letter of resignation from Andrew McGuire was accepted by the LaPorte County Commissioners on Wednesday.
McGuire, who's also a volunteer firefighter in Scipio Township, spent close to 10 years of his 26 years with EMS as an administrator. No reason for the resignation was given because of it being a personnel matter.
“Just like any department, we deal with all issues and we just hope, now that we have a new administration, they continue to build on what they had because it’s a great service with great people,” said La Porte County government attorney Scott Pejic.
There was also no light shed on whether the resignation was requested.
“He decided to move on and we wish him all of the best,” said LaPorte County Commissioner Joe Haney.
His resignation came several weeks after a letter of no confidence in McGuire's leadership was submitted to the commissioners. The letter, signed by many EMS employees, did not outline specific concerns but matters were looked into and discussed between the commissioners and other stakeholders in several closed sessions.
EMS Capt. Jeff Koon said the no-confidence letter was in response to things like processes not followed the way they should be, double standards, and a lack of accountability.
He said a primary concern was delayed access to mental health treatment for medics, requesting help in coping with a traumatic situation. Koon said the result of declining leadership was low morale, along with medics feeling unsafe or insecure.
He said the concerns began emerging a few years ago.
“We started to see it as more of an issue over the last year. Hopefully, we can start moving forward and bring that morale back up,” he said.
The commissioners named Eric Fenstermaker, who’s been second in command at EMS for nearly 10 years, the new administrator.
Fenstermaker is also chief of the Scipio Township Volunteer Fire Department.
“He’ll definitely have an opportunity to lead and definitely an opportunity to make a difference to the employees,” Koon said.