Less than five months into his tenure, Milton Rescue Chief Rod Moore resigned his post the day after he was placed on paid administrative leave by his full-time employer, public records show.
A rescue member for more than 20 years and chief since January, Moore tendered his resignation on May 2, citing “personal reasons.”
Town manager Don Turner wouldn’t say whether it relates to Moore being placed on “temporary relief from duty” from his position as a dispatcher supervisor for the Vermont State Police Williston barracks.
Moore has worked at the public service answering point for 20 years, according to the Vermont Dept. of Human Resources. He earns $66,726 a year and was placed on paid leave May 1 while an “ongoing investigation” is underway.
State officials would not comment on the nature of the investigation.
Turner would only clarify the town didn’t terminate Moore or ask him to step down and that Moore’s resignation was unrelated to rescue operations.
“This is a personal issue that Rod is dealing with,” Turner said. “[He] came to me and needed to dedicate his entire time to that and felt it was in the best interest to resign effective immediately.”
Upon receipt of Moore’s letter, Turner met with public safety director Taylor Yeates and decided to call a meeting with first responders on May 3.
Turner told the 40 members in attendance that Yeates, also president of Richmond Rescue, will serve as interim head of service until the town can find a new chief.
Yeates’ position as public safety director was set to become full-time July 1 anyhow, and combined with some open per diem shifts, Turner isn’t worried about having an operational crew, he said.
Moore’s absence will be felt, however, Turner said. Though he scaled back in recent years, Moore was known for taking daytime shifts when Milton Rescue most needs coverage. Membership recognized Moore for this in 2013, when they voted him Milton Rescue Member of the Year, an award he received one other time during his tenure.
He was known around the station as “Mr. Milton Rescue” and was officially pinned chief during a swearing-in ceremony for rescue, fire and police on January 15 this year.
“Rod gave his heart and soul to Milton Rescue for 20 years,” said Turner, Moore’s predecessor in the chief role. “He will be dearly, greatly missed.”
Selectboard chairman Darren Adams, who is a close friend of Moore’s, said the board will look to Turner and Yeates for a long-term plan. Turner could not commit to a timeframe of identifying the next head of service.
Moore did not respond to requests for comment by deadline Tuesday, but a public records request turned up an email he sent to membership, thanking them for their friendship and service to “one of the greatest EMS agencies around” he said.
“This town is very fortunate to have you serving them,” Moore wrote. “On to the next chapter for all of us.”