PATRICK COUNTY, Va. – A local EMT accused of making racist comments on a white supremacist podcast has been fired.
The JEB Stuart Volunteer Rescue Squad voted unanimously Sunday to terminate Alex McNabb. Board members said they did not want people in the community to doubt the intentions of those tasked with saving the lives of others, according to Wren Williams, the squad’s attorney.
Williams said the squad wants to separate itself from McNabb and his views.
“It's our job to look out for the members of our community and we never wanted a member of our community to think that they might be mistreated or discriminated against,” he said.
Williams added that board members wouldn’t want anyone to decide not to call the rescue squad in the event of an emergency out of a fear that someone may show up who would mistreat them.
Earlier this month, McNabb was cleared by the Virginia Department of Health, which said its investigation showed there were no violations of EMS regulations. McNabb was placed on unpaid leave in December after his comments surfaced.
Patrick County Board of Supervisors Chairman Lock Boyce, who has been an outspoken critic of McNabb and who got into a heated argument with him at a meeting in December, is glad to hear the news of his firing.
“Mr. McNabb does enjoy some protection from the First Amendment, but people who have his views should not be in positions of responsibility over other people,” Boyce said.
Before Sunday’s vote, Boyce thought there was a good chance the rescue squad was going to keep McNabb on staff. He said Monday that he thought the decision shows courage on the part of the board.
“That's an admirable thing for them to do and I'm glad they did it,” Boyce said.
He said McNabb's attorneys have told him they plan on suing him for his public comments that McNabb is a racist and a white supremacist.