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Employee Spotlight: Property Appraisers Shift Gears to Emergency Services, Food Assistance

“When I think of public service, I think of doing whatever I can to help those that are less fortunate than I am,” says Greg Green. The Buncombe County Property Appraiser has been spending more time behind the wheel of an ambulance and delivering meals to children as we repurpose employees as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The potential high demand for emergency services coupled with a workforce reduction has some County employees taking A-B Tech’s ambulance driving course. “We feel it is vitally important to have contingency plans in place to be proactive instead of reactive,” notes EMS Operations Supervisor Max Boswell. “This is just one part of our progressive crisis capacity strategy that we now have in place.” Joining Greg is fellow Property Appraiser Lisa Kirbo. “I learned I can actually drive a big truck with air brakes and back it into a loading dock without hitting anything or throwing the first responders and my patient in the floor,” she says. Greg says the course has been enlightening, “I have learned lifesaving techniques that include CPR, using an AED during cardiac arrest, applying a tourniquet, and how to stop bleeding in a trauma situation.”

The course is quite rigorous, as Max explains: “It entails approximately 12 hours of emergency vehicle operations and safety procedures, American Heart Association’s First Aid and CPR, a Stop the Bleed course, a blood-borne pathogens class, and fit testing for a form fitted respirator (N-95). Lastly, they must be able to pass Buncombe County EMS’s medical physical agility test.”

As if that wasn’t demanding enough, Lisa and Greg are pulling double duty delivering food for children. “Helping, serving, and supporting the citizens of our community during this time may mean doing things we never dreamed we would do. We are happy to have the opportunity to help and provide services wherever they are needed,” says Lisa. During his time helping with food assistance, Greg says it really affected him. “I learned the County has a lot of needy families. No child should go hungry when we live in such a great place that has an abundance of resources,” stresses Greg.

Asked about their thoughts on filling whatever roles are needed during this crisis, Lisa and Greg say that’s what public service is all about. “As County employees, we really do care. I want people to know the work we are doing is because we love where we live. I have lived in Buncombe County my entire life, and this is a great opportunity for us as citizens to help each other,” explains Greg.  “I am extremely grateful for leaders who think outside the box, take charge, and allow this reallocation of jobs. I appreciate that we have been given the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens and provide help where ever the needs are eminent,” notes Lisa.

Buncombe County would like to thank Lisa and Greg for embracing their roles driving ambulances, delivering food, and generally being examples of our workforce’s compassion and competency. We also want to thank everyone else who completed A-B Tech’s ambulance driving course. Congratulations to Bryan Andrews, Laura Bradley, Mike Calloway, Erik Simes, Jerry Penley, Kyle Keath , Lisa Kirbo, and Greg Green.

If you or your team has been repurposed and would like to be featured in an Employee Spotlight, please email Dan Hesse.