official: NRAD fires
Bill Bishop as executive director
Approximately 10 days after placing him on administrative
leave, the Northland Regional Ambulance District (NRAD)
board of directors voted to fire William Bishop as the
district's executive director.
The move to terminate Bishop's employment effective immediately
was made in a special meeting of the board Monday night.
As exclusively reported in last week's issue of The Landmark,
the NRAD board had suspended Bishop with pay "pending
a performance review.
Bishop had served as the district's executive director
approximately 10 years, working from the district's headquarters
in Platte City. Bishop came on board after the district's
first-ever director was guilty of misusing district funds.
Mark Hubbard, attorney for NRAD, said there is no financial
settlement arrangement with Hubbard.
"None at all," Hubbard told The Landmark on
Tuesday, declining further comment.
There were no malicious reasons for the termination,
NRAD board president Charlene Bruce said in a release
issued Tuesday morning. The board made the decision
they felt was in the best interest of the district, and
we are anxious now to move forward.
"The board members and NRAD employees will work
together to continue to provide the highest possible level
of emergency medical care to each and every patient,
Bruce said. We are fortunate to have paramedics
and EMTs who are committed to their profession, and to
providing the best possible care in every situation.
Efforts to contact Bishop were unsuccessful.
In addition to Bruce, a Smithville resident, NRAD board
members are Luke Hilmes and Lew Basye, also of Smithville;
Alan Matthys and Kevin
Rawlings of Camden Point, and Steve Hoeger of Platte City.
Basye was absent from Monday's meeting. The remaining
five members voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
As reported last week in The Landmark, Joe Coons, longtime
NRAD paramedic who has served the past several years as
paramedic supervisor and assistant executive director,
will serve as interim executive director until a permanent
replacement has been named.
Coons declined to comment as to whether he is interested
in seeking the permanent appointment to the post.
"I'm not really going to say anything about it until
I talk to board members about it. The board hasn't discussed
that yet. I imagine they'll discuss it at their Feb. 15
board meeting," Coons told The Landmark.
Coons will oversee a staff of 17 employees, with 13 field
staff members, two full time office staff and part-time
employees as needed.
"They're a great group of employees. They make it
pretty easy," Coons remarked.
Northland Regional Ambulance District covers 344 square
miles in Clay and Platte counties, including Smithville,
Central Platte, Camden
Point, Dearborn and a portion of the Edgerton-Trimble
districts. In addition to emergency medical services,
provides CPR and first aid classes, and offers a variety
The firing of Bishop comes as the district is beginning
a campaign to attempt to pass a proposed 15 cent increase
in its current 28 cent tax levy. A 10 cent increase in
the tax levy was rejected by voters last August, with
709 opposed to 443 in favor.
The firing also comes on the heels of an audit last summer.
Although it uncovered no wrongdoing, the audit resulted
in several recommendations. The audit noted that patient
service billings were not consistently being performed.
It also offered other suggestions on how the district
could improve its financial picture. The auditor recommended
changes in budgeting processes and procedures for disbursements,
as well as cutting back on health benefits paid to NRAD