You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Bethel fire lieutenant suspended

Chief says incident was an isolated one for department veteran.

A fire lieutenant here received a seven-day unpaid suspension and 180-day probation, accused of negligence of duty on a medical run Feb. 2.

Brian C. Halk, 53, an 18-year veteran of the Bethel Twp. Fire Department and a lieutenant since 2008, “was negligent and failed to act in a manner that is consistent with established protocols,” according to a disciplinary investigation report by Capt. Brian Ludwick.

“This is a one-emergency occurrence where his performance wasn’t to standard in 18 years serving this community,” Chief Jacob King said Friday.

Ludwick wrote that Halk found the patient in full arrest and failed to: bring a working oxygen cylinder into the home, bring an automated external defibrillator into the home, participate as much as other department members on scene thought he should have, provide effective CPR, contact the sheriff’s office in a timely manner, recognize a significant EMS event and call additional units, and provide effective leadership in the situation.

“It was a mistake that I made. I admitted that I did not take this piece of equipment into this house,” Halk said via phone Friday.

No other disciplinary actions were found in Halk’s personnel records, the Springfield News-Sun found.

Trustees unanimously approved the disciplinary action at their meeting last week following an executive session to discuss the matter.

The patient died, but not because of the care, according to the investigation.

“While this may have not changed the outcome in this particular case, had the patient been viable, it could have severely impacted his/her survivability,” Ludwick wrote.

“The progressive disciplinary process is a way to enhance employee performance,” King said. “It details and states performance below our expectations, provides the employee feedback, and disciplinary action is given to motivate the employee to enhance or change their behavior for the good of the organization.”

The suspension, beginning March 4, and probation, effective from Tuesday, are less than what Ludwick recommended, which included a reduction in rank to firefighter/EMT and a year of probation. Any repeated incident during the year’s probation would have resulted in an automatic suspension, pending dismissal, and reporting to the Ohio Division of EMS for further action, he wrote.

“He is being held to a higher standard since he is a lieutenant and a senior member of the fire department and should know his responsibilities in situations like this,” Ludwick wrote.

Halk is a part-time employee paid an annual salary of about $800, plus an hourly wage, according to personnel records.

Halk did not appeal the disciplinary action.

Next Up in Community News

Shots fired near U.S. Capitol after woman flees traffic stop, police say
Shots fired near U.S. Capitol after woman flees traffic stop, police say

Officers opened fire on a woman on U.S. Capitol grounds Wednesday morning after she nearly ran over multiple U.S. Capitol Police officers while fleeing from a traffic stop, authorities said. No injuries were reported. Officers spotted a woman driving erratically around 9 a.m. on Independence Avenue and attempted to stop her car, Capitol police spokeswoman...
What is a baby box and why are some states giving them to new parents?
What is a baby box and why are some states giving them to new parents?

This week, Alabama will join two other U.S. states — Ohio and New Jersey — in launching a program that offers free baby boxes to families of newborns in the state. Here’s what you should know about the boxes, their origin and why states are adopting the program: The idea originates from 1930s Finland, when nearly one out...
SNEAK PEEK: Target to redesign stores in major ways
SNEAK PEEK: Target to redesign stores in major ways

Target Corp. has released the company’s “most ambitious” store redesign, with plans to invest billions of dollars in the next three years at existing stores. The retailer said it would open its first “reimagined” store in the Houston, Tex. suburb of Richmond. The redesign could hit 600 stores by 2019, according to Brian...
Clark County Municipal Court cases
Clark County Municipal Court cases

CASES CALLED MONDAY INCLUDED: Nathaniel D. Compston, 30, address unknown, violation of temporary protection order, dismissed - prosecutor request. Ashley N. Cromlish, 30, of 320 S. Western Ave., assault, guilty, 30 days jail with 25 days suspended, five days credit for time served. Stacy A. Draper, 44, of 1942 Primm Dr., Apt. D, theft, guilty, five...
Dog found starved, dehydrated in abandoned trailer
Dog found starved, dehydrated in abandoned trailer

A Washington County, Pennsylvania, shelter is caring for a dog found abandoned in a trailer.  According to a post on the Washington Area Humane Society Facebook page, the dog was rescued from a trailer in Coal Center. They’re calling her Faith. She’s a lab/terrier mix and weighs just 20 pounds. She was very thin and dehydrated...
More Stories