CRS president resigns

January 09, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

Community Rescue Service President Terry Gearhart, who has done volunteer work for the company for 35 years, has stepped down as its leader.

John Shaw, 40, the board's vice president, has been named CRS acting president, Gearhart and Shaw said Thursday.

Gearhart, 53, has served on the board for 10 years.

Gearhart said he had to resign, effective Jan. 1, because of professional and personal demands. While he no longer will serve on the board, Gearhart said he will continue to do some volunteer work for the company.

In addition to working with CRS, Gearhart is a firefighter for the federal government and a state fire marshal.

The CRS board is scheduled to vote at its Jan. 21 meeting on whether to name Shaw the president, and Gearhart said he would be surprised if that does not occur.


Shaw, of Hagerstown, has been on the board since last January.

Shaw said he has a background in emergency health service dating back to 1979 when he did volunteer work in western Pennsylvania.

Shaw is a flight nurse with MedSTAR Medevac at its Frederick Municipal Airport location.

Gearhart became CRS president after the board voted 6-2 on Oct. 16, 2002, to let Executive Director J. Michael Nye go after two years in the position.

Nye's departure was followed by the resignations of three other board members, Hagerstown City Councilwoman Penny Nigh, Treasurer Kenneth Smith and former President Ron Horn.

The board voted unanimously on Dec. 17 to appoint Tory VanReenen, a Community Rescue Service board member, as interim executive director of CRS. The executive director's position had been vacant since Nye's departure.

She will serve in the position for up to six months while a permanent replacement is sought, Gearhart said.

Gearhart said he is comfortable leaving the board in the capable hands of Shaw and VanReenan.

"I feel that the board, the membership and the employees have made numerous steps forward in the past year with many positive accomplishments that should have lasting effects on the organization as well as the community it serves," Gearhart said in his resignation letter.

During his year in office he filled board vacancies and was instrumental in a board decision to refurbish two ambulances instead of buying two new ones. The decision saved about $80,000, Gearhart said.

CRS recently submitted to Washington County Emergency Services Director Joe Kroboth a three-year business plan that contains an analysis of its current service, strengths and opportunities, Gearhart said.

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