A country administrator has been forced to resign after he told weary emergency service employees to “kill themselves or leave”.
Addressing a group of 100 frustrated EMS workers, South Carolina assistant county administrator Kevin Bronson had little time for pleasantries or small talk.
“So I’m looking through this list with 50 different problems, and if it’s really that bad, you can just kill yourself or leave,” Bronson told the group.
An employee in attendance said the entire room erupted in emotion, noting that a colleague had recently taken their own life.
“People were crying, people were yelling at him,” the emotional employee told CBS.
“I don't think he understands the gravity of the situation. We're not here for the money; we're here because we love what we do."
Despite his apology and hope the comments would blow over, there was no coming back for Bronson.
"While I wanted to right the ship by staying on board in my job, that is not appropriate," he wrote in his resignation letter.
"My disrespectful words hurt and offended many people in the Richland County Government, especially the EMS workers, EMS workers across this country and surviving friends and families of loved ones of suicide.
"To say that to first responders who deal with death and crisis situations every day was not only insensitive, but it was unprofessional and it was childish.”
If you or someone you know is having trouble coping, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.