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Three Concord Township Fire Dept. employees face suspension over improper drug handling

The workers, including the deputy chief, acknowledged failing to follow township rules related to handling of narcotics.

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 1:16 p.m.

ELKHART — Three Concord Township Fire Department employees, including the deputy chief, face suspension without pay for not following department rules related to handling narcotics.

According to Concord Township personnel records sought by The Elkhart Truth, Deputy Chief Don Mansell faces an eight-week suspension without pay. Bill Creedon and Jon Simmons, firefighters and emergency medical technicians, face four-week unpaid suspensions.

Concord Township Trustee Mark Grabill said in a written response Thursday, April 17, to The Elkhart Truth's formal information request that he charged the three with failure to follow Concord Township Fire Department protocol "regarding proper tag removal on narcotics boxes."

  • Scroll down to see Grabill's letter

The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department is investigating a Feb. 21 theft report filed by IU Health Goshen Hospital charging that contents of drug vials in the care of the Concord Township Fire Department had been tampered with and possibly emptied without proper authorization. 

Grabill hasn't commented on the sheriff's department inquiry and didn't immediately respond to a request Thursday for additional information.

But Thursday's written response from Grabill suggests drugs had somehow been mishandled.

"The Concord Township Fire Department takes very seriously the protection and accurate documentation of narcotics in its possession," Grabill said in his letter. "Mr. Mansell, Mr. Creedon and Mr. Simmons acknowledged their failure to follow the Township's protocol."

The Concord Township Fire Department serves the unincorporated areas of Concord Township, providing fire protection and ambulance service. Ambulances are typically stocked with drugs, which are sometimes supplied by hospitals.

Grabill's response Thursday didn't specify the timing of the suspensions. But Concord Township held a closed-door executive session on Tuesday, April 15, to "receive information regarding an employee's alleged misconduct," according to the formal meeting announcement.

Meanwhile, Capt. Jim Bradberry of the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department said the investigation into the IU Health Goshen Hospital report continues. IU Health Goshen officials, who declined comment previously, didn't respond to a query Thursday seeking comment.

Efforts to get hold of Mansell, Creedon and Simmons were unsuccessful.

The information provided by Grabill indicates a hiring date for Mansell, Creedon and Simmons of Jan. 1, 2006, when Concord Township took over fire department operations. Additional Indiana Homeland Security paperwork included in the response to the Elkhart Truth's records request indicates that firefighting and/or emergency medical services certification for the three men dates to 1998. 

Concord Township letter

Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack or visit him on Facebook.


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