Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries appointed Matt Ledford, a 17-year-old senior at Trigg County High School, as PIO for the county’s fire departments last year. He recently resigned. Humphries said that Ledford had originally been intended as a liaison between fire departments and the media if the individual department chose to use him. He said that Ledford had been the first to serve in that capacity and that he had resigned because he wanted to focus on the last few months of high school and prepare to go to college. He said that the county had no intention of filling that vacancy and was at the meeting to find out what they wanted to do about getting information to the media. He said he would help in any way he could.
“The county’s role is to support the fire departments in any way we can while still encouraging volunteerism,” Humphries said.
Ronnie Gray, the chief of the East Golden Pond Fire Department, said that it might be beneficial fore departments to no longer have a PIO and to speak directly to the media. He said that when a third party is involved, the information given to that person can change by the time it gets to print.
“It’s so much easier to talk to the paper than to tell the PIO so they can tell the paper,” he said.
Gray added that it could sometimes be two days before a department has all the necessary information. Sometimes the state fire marshal is involved, and there is important information that the local department doesn’t know, he said.
Read The Cadiz Record for the complete report on county fire departments.