RENOVO — One day after a couple from Clinton County was charged in connection with alleged theft of more than $50,000 from an ambulance company we are learning more about what investigators say they spent the money on and how the ambulance company is faring now.
Gary Cummings was the former president of F.A.S.T. in Renovo which stands for Fireman’s Ambulance Service Team.
Until last year, investigators said Cummings and his girlfriend were using the ambulance company’s money for themselves which folks in Renovo said put the ambulance service in jeopardy.
For sale signs are posted on Station 24 in Renovo which had been the home to F.A.S.T.
State police said in May of last year, members of the ambulance company discovered there was less than two dollars left in its bank account.
Fire and EMS officials in Renovo wasted no time, and took control of fast and brought the ambulances under the fire company’s roof.
“We didn’t want to let the community down as members of both stations, we teamed up and kept it going. Because if you dial 911 and nobody’s there, it’s bad for your own community,” said Ronald Stevens, the new president of F.A.S.T.
F.A.S.T.’s former president, Gary Cummings, and his girlfriend Pennie Bodley are now behind bars charged with theft. Troopers said the two spent more than $50,000 of the ambulance company’s money between 2007 and 2012.
Renovo’s fire chief said everyone had to work hard to pull the ambulance company back from the brink of closing.
“They did, it’s a sad feeling for the community, as the organization we had to step up and do something for the community,” said Renovo Fire Chief Jim Risley.
Cummings and Bodley would use the F.A.S.T. card to pay for things like household items and car insurance bills, and at the Wal-Mart near Mill Hall, Bodley admitted to buying an Xbox 360 with ambulance funds, according to court papers.
“When it happens in a smaller community, it makes it even harder because the money’s hard to get in the first place,” said Bob Cozzi of South Renovo.
Folks in the Renovo area who rely on the ambulance service said if the allegations against Cummings and Bodley are true, they hope the couple is punished for taking money meant for doing good.
“It makes it even worse that something like that took place,” added Cozzi.
According to court papers, both Cummings and Bodley admitted to the thefts.
They are locked up in Clinton County.