|Update: Ambulance Resignation, Censure Vote Follows Moulton TV Comments|
|Staff Reports, |
08:40AM / Friday, July 24, 2020
|Robert Moulton Jr. at the ambulance service's 40th anniversary celebration.|
Original post: July 24, 2020; 8:24 p.m.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams Ambulance Service has parted ways with its longtime board president after comments he made during a public access television show.
Robert Moulton Jr. resigned from the Board of Directors of North Adams Ambulance Service Inc. during an emergency meeting held on Thursday night.
The North Adams School Committee has also set a special meeting for Tuesday, July 28, with the only agenda item as a vote to "Censure School Committee Member Moulton." Moulton was elected to the School Committee last year at the same time he was re-elected to the City Council.
This was followed on Friday with an amended City Council agenda that added a resolution for censure submitted by Councilors Benjamin Lamb and Jason LaForest, who were the first to speak out against Moulton's comments, and President Paul Hopkins. The council meeting is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
A number of current and former council and School Committee members and Mayor Thomas Bernard have condemned and distanced themselves from their colleague's remarks regarding BLM and the pandemic.
According to a release from the ambulance board, "During the show, Mr. Moulton made comments and expressed views that do not align with or reflect the mission, values and vision of the North Adams Ambulance Board of Directors and the Northern Berkshire EMS and Transport agency."
On Tuesday night, Moulton called Black Lives Matter a terrorist group and downplayed the novel coronavirus pandemic as "miniscule." COVID-19 has killed nearly 145,000 Americans including 45 in Berkshire County, and infected more than 4 million.
The comments were made during his public access show "Let's Talk About It" that is broadcast on Northern Berkshire Community Television.
Members of Northern Berkshire EMS have been on the front line of the pandemic, including aiding in the operations and staffing of a COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center as part of the Northern Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee.
"Everyone from our dedicated board to our well-trained employees, strive to provide the most comprehensive pre-hospital care in the most efficient manger possible," the board said in its statement. "We are committed to maintaining an environment that fosters community involvement, innovative technology, and customer service to make each patient contact a positive experience. Our goal is to create an exceptional, patient-focused experience we would want for ourselves or our loved ones as the standard."
The board disavowed Moulton's comments and stated the ambulance service had no affiliation with Moulton's television show. It met Thursday to discuss the issue and voted to accept his resignation as president and board member effective immediately. Moulton was one of the service's first emergency medical technicians and has served on the board for years; he has been president since 2006.
"We want to express our sincere concern for the behavior and comments made by Robert Moulton Jr. and to reiterate that they are antithetical to our agency's mission," the statement read. "We want everyone to know our approach to all the communities and constituents we serve remains steadfast and includes embracing diversity and showing compassion, courtesy, and respect; all embedded within the highest of ethical standards. We believe the action taken by the board this evening serves as a testament to the same."
Moulton has also received push back on social media, including posts on Facebook by several of his council and committee colleagues who have expressed anger over his comments and questioned how he could serve a diversifying community.
Updated July 25,2020, with council actions.