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Álbum de recortes del FCTA

Nuevo director lidera el avance de la FCTA

Although his job title has changed, Kevin Kelley remains in the “people moving” business.

The former KenTenn EMS Director, Kelley officially took over the Executive Director position at Fulton County Transit Authority Monday, November 21, 2022. The FCTA Board of Directors chose Kelley for the post during a special called meeting on November 3, 2022.

Kelley resigned his position on the FCTA Board of Directors prior to applying for the job.

“Kevin Kelley will be a passionate leader who will bring dedication, integrity, and communication to FCTA,” said FCTA Board of Directors President Mike Gunn. “He was an obvious choice for the Executive Director position as he shares the community’s vision for the future. He remains ready to do the hard work to get us there. Kevin can recognize talent and can be a leader that supports those around him in being successful.”

Gunn has known Kelley personally and professionally for decades, even working together as City of Fulton Fire Department Paramedics.

“In my past 20-plus years working with him, Kevin is not afraid to look outside of the proverbial ‘box’ to get things done,” Gunn said. “He is the kind of leader that directs the organization into the future instead of allowing the future to direct the organization.”

Kelley’s immediate plans are to obtain more personnel to keep up with the increase in ridership FCTA has faced recently.

“I hope to continue to move Fulton Transit forward and continue to provide the communities we serve with their transportation needs in an effective and efficient means as possible,” Kelley added.

A 1987 graduate of Dresden High School (TN), Kelley received his emergency medicine training at Jackson State Community College in Jackson, TN. He earned his EMT Basic in 1995, EMT IV in 1996, and completed coursework to become a Paramedic in 1998.

All of Kelley’s career thus far has been working in emergency services. Kelley served with the Dresden Fire Department, Weakley County Rescue Squad, and City of Fulton Fire Department. He worked for Weakley County EMS from 1996-2003; Henry County Medical Center from 2003-2005, and with Air-Evac Lifeteam 31 in Martin, TN, from 2005-2013.

Kelley recently returned to the Fulton Fire Department after a 10-year hiatus.

In addition to providing hands on care, Kelley has also worked in a leadership role to make sure the Twin Cities area has professional care during emergency situations. Kelley served as Tri-Cities EMS Director from 2013 – 2017. After Parkway Regional Hospital was closed and CHS stopped providing ambulance service to the area, Kelley helped establish KenTenn EMS and served as director there from 2017 until now.

In 2019, Kelley helped develop the KenTenn EMS Academy. The program provides EMT and Advanced EMT classes and will soon host RN to EMT classes. Future plans include providing Paramedic classes in Fulton as well. All of these classes are taught at the KenTenn EMS base. Kelley has served as Program Director for the academy since its inception.

Kelley’s first day as FCTA Executive Director was Monday, November 21.

Gardiner recibe el máximo honor de la FCTA para 2022

La supervisora de conductores Jo Ann Gardiner ha sido nombrada Empleada del Año 2022 de la Autoridad de Tránsito del Condado de Fulton.

El honor, elegido mediante votación individual por parte de los empleados de la FCTA, se anuncia tradicionalmente antes de Navidad cada año.

Por la expresión de su rostro cuando se anunció su nombre, era obvio que el honor fue una completa sorpresa para Gardiner.

“Cuando levantas el teléfono y llamas a Jo Ann, todo está solucionado”, dijo la subdirectora de la FCTA, Kristin Grooms, quien contó las papeletas. “Ella es confiable; siempre puedes contar con ella. Creo que es por eso que sus compañeros de trabajo eligieron a Jo Ann este año”.

Gardiner, quien comenzó en FCTA como conductora, celebró su cuarto aniversario en la agencia en octubre.

Aunque Gardiner trabaja en equipo y es muy amable y servicial con sus compañeros de trabajo, admite que las personas en los cuatro condados a los que sirve la FCTA son la verdadera razón por la que intenta hacer bien su trabajo a diario.

"La mejor parte son nuestros clientes", dijo Gardiner. “Hacen que el trabajo valga la pena. Tenemos algunos compañeros de trabajo fantásticos aquí. Otro beneficio es estar en casa, lo que marca la diferencia.

Además de recibir el título, Gardiner tiene un certificado enmarcado que promociona su honor, una tarjeta de identificación recién acuñada con Empleado del año 2022 impreso en la parte superior y algunos obsequios de sus compañeros de trabajo.

El embajador del FCTA es un verdadero tesoro regional

Darrell en Frankfort.jpg
Darrell con corona usada en desfiles.JPG

Darryl Sims es el cliente más antiguo de la FCTA. Como embajador del FCTA, Sims suele representar al FCTA en diversas actividades.

Everybody loves Darrell Sims.

In the four-county area Fulton County Transit Authority serves – Fulton, Hickman, Graves, and Carlisle – there possibly aren’t a handful of other people someone could make that blanket statement about. For Darrell Sims, though, it’s true.

“Darrell knows and loves everyone, and everyone knows and loves Darrell,” said Kenney Etherton, former FCTA Executive Director. “He has been a FCTA client for more than 20 years and is the best FCTA driver trainer on the route he rides. If you are having a bad day, Darrell can change that by just saying good morning to you.”

Etherton thinks Darrell has never had a bad day in his life.

“He has an infectious smile and a kind word for everyone,” Etherton said. “He loves UK basketball and most of the time he is wearing something blue to show support for his UK basketball team and blue for FCTA. Darrell loves his God, his churches, UK Basketball, his job, FCTA, and he LOVED his Mother unconditionally.”

Several years ago, some members of the FCTA staff approached Etherton to do something special for Darrell because of the love for and support he’d offered the agency throughout the years. After much thought, those FCTA staff members decided to bestow upon Darrell the title of FCTA Ambassador.

“The word ambassador describes Darrell to a ‘T.’ He is one of our best supporters and advertisers. Darrell is quick to tell anyone and everyone about FCTA and the good things we do,” Etherton said. “I sometimes think if we could take a page from the life of Darrell Sims, it would say, ‘Just be happy and treat everyone with respect.’ We would have a much better world. I could tell Darrell stories all day long. He is one of the most loving and respectful people I know in the world. He’s never met a stranger and will never forget a name.”

Darrell takes his job as FCTA Ambassador very seriously.

“I like everything about being Ambassador,” Darrell said when asked recently. “I like representing FCTA.”

FCTA began its mission as a “people mover” in the mid-1980s. At 25 years, Darrell holds the record for most continual ridership of any client. Currently, Darrell rides in a FCTA vehicle daily from his home in Clinton to his job at Mayfield’s Food Giant. He celebrated his 28th year of employment there in November. Prior to working at Food Giant, Darrell worked at Smith’s for nine years.

“Guess I’ll probably work forever,” Darrell said, laughing. “You never know.”

Darrell was born in Chicago and moved to Clinton when he was 13 years old.

“I had family here,” Darrell said while explaining why they moved to the Hickman County town. “Clinton is a good place to grow up.”

On February 3, Darrell celebrated his 62nd birthday spectacularly.

“My birthday is the same day as Morgan Fairchild’s birthday,” Darrell said, smiling. For those of you who DON’T recognize her name, she’s a longtime actress from soap operas, TV shows, and movies.

Being FCTA Ambassador does have its perks. Darrell and the late Sam Jones, a longtime driver for FCTA, traveled to Frankfort to represent the agency for Transit Day at the Capitol one year. Darrell also represents FCTA at various public events around the four-county area. During the recent holidays, FCTA staff members kept Darrell busy riding in a Transit van on a five Christmas parade schedule including Mayfield, Arlington, Fulton, Clinton, and Hickman. Each September, Darrell represents FCTA in the Twin Cities’ Banana Festival Parade. In October, he can always be seen waving from a FCTA vehicle participating in the Clinton/Hickman County Halloween Parade.

The FCTA Ambassador is so faithful to go to church, he attends two of them weekly.

“I go to First Baptist on Sunday and the Assembly of God on Wednesday,” Darrell said, smiling broadly.

Following a recent Hickman County Spring Chicken Festival, employees who manned an informational booth for FCTA reported back at work that several people told them Darrell has the people at the churches he attends pray for Transit employees every Sunday or Wednesday.

“They said Darrell even calls most of us by name when he prays for FCTA,” one of the employees recalled. “I don’t think we could have a better Ambassador than one who asks God to bless FCTA and those of us who work here.”

When not working or representing FCTA at events, Darrell said he likes to listen to music, keep up with St. Louis Cardinals baseball, or hang out with friends. Many who know Darrell probably don’t know about one of his many skills. He doesn’t just listen to music, but Darrell apparently has memorized who sang every song he has ever heard. Recently, while hanging out with some of his FCTA friends, they began singing a line or two from songs they knew – including obscure ones from the early 1970s. Every line they would sing, Darrell would answer, “Alright, Tammy Wynette!” or “Alright, Aerosmith!” If two people or groups had recorded the song, Darrell was quick to educate those singing the lyrics for him about that fact as well.

Almost daily, Darrell will call the FCTA Dispatch Office on his ride home from work to check in and ask how everyone at Transit is doing. Often Darrell has heard about an illness, a death in a family, or something that has happened to one of the FCTA employees. He never fails to ask about those situations first.
“When he calls in you obviously know who he is because he has that cheery disposition,” said FCTA Dispatch/Scheduling Supervisor Christy Snow. “Darrell asks about everyone, and he always leaves us a good word for the end of the day. Darrell always tells us to tell everyone to have a good day and a good evening and that he is ready for the next day for us to pick him up.”

FCTA Operations Manager Rachel Cook considers Darrell unique and an integral part of the FCTA canvas.

“Darrell Sims is one of a kind,” Cook explained. “His personality is big and his love for life is bigger. He knows how to make anyone’s day. I remember the first day I met him, he gave me a big hug and welcomed me to the FCTA family. Since that day, Darrell has been such a positive staple in my career.”

According to Cook, Darrell can remember anything and everything.

“Darrell never forgets a face or a birthday,” Cook explained. “His birthday call each year is one I look forward to. I am so thankful that I have had the privilege to know and spend time with Darrell.”

Cook is not the only employee impacted by knowing Darrell.

“Darrell means a lot to all of our employees, and we mean a lot to him,” Cook said. “He had a very special relationship with Sam Jones and Charles Cavaness, two FCTA Drivers who have passed away. Every time I get to sit down and chat with Darrell, he reminds me how much he misses them both and how they were his family. We are his family and Darrell is ours. I couldn’t imagine a better person to represent us.”

Grupo trae comida y fondos al área del tornado


Fotos del director de marketing Kim Jobe

PARTICIPANTES DEL PROYECTO - La Autoridad de Tránsito del Condado de Fulton proporcionó transporte para la entrega de comidas recientemente a los afectados por los tornados del 10 de diciembre de 2021. United By Barbecue, Southern Boyz Outdoors, Bruce Mitchell y Ronnie Adams de “Swamp People” de History Channel, Albany, el jefe de bomberos y el jefe de policía de Luisiana, y otros voluntarios del área de Hammond, Luisiana, entre los que prepararon las comidas en Fulton el 28 de enero. 30. Organizado por la Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida de Fulton, al grupo se unieron muchos residentes del área de Fulton y South Fulton para ayudar a cocinar las comidas y llenar los platos. El objetivo del grupo era compartir amor, esperanza y comida. Hasta el domingo, todo el grupo de personas había preparado y entregado 3.121 comidas. El viernes, un conductor de la FCTA entregó almuerzos a las autoridades y a los socorristas en el área de Mayfield, mientras que otros dos conductores entregaron comidas a Cayce y Clinton. Poco antes del mediodía del sábado (29 de enero), varios miembros del grupo de Luisiana abordaron un autobús de la FCTA después de que estuviera lleno con 600 comidas para llevar al recinto ferial del condado de Mayfield-Graves. En el grupo estaban Mitchell, Adams, el jefe de policía de Albany, Boyd Wild, y Kinion Bankston, propietario de Southern Boyz Outdoors. Quienes viajaron a Mayfield pasaron más de una hora visitando a la gente en el recinto ferial, incluidos los afectados por el tornado y los voluntarios que trabajaban en el recinto ferial ese día. Los fanáticos de “Swamp People” y Southern Boyz Outdoors tomaron numerosas fotografías con Mitchell, Adams y Bankston. Luego, el grupo viajó por el centro de Mayfield para ver por sí mismos los daños que habían visto en los noticieros de televisión y otras áreas. Mientras caminaban por el centro de la ciudad, Mitchell, Adams y Bankston publicaron en vivo sus respectivas páginas de Facebook para mostrar a sus seguidores los daños allí y alentarlos a considerar ayudar a los residentes del área. El conductor de Tránsito realizó un par de paradas en la zona céntrica para que los pasajeros desembarcaran y conversaran con quienes se encontraban en los alrededores. Durante una parada, el grupo visitó a algunas personas que habían estado proporcionando alimentos y otros artículos a la gente desde unos días después del 10 de diciembre. Antes de volver a abordar el autobús de la FCTA, el grupo entregó a los voluntarios varias tarjetas de regalo de Walmart para que se las dieran a algunos de aquellos que pasan por aquí y parecen necesitar una verdadera bendición monetaria. Las tarjetas de regalo fueron proporcionadas por estudiantes del área de Albany, Luisiana, que recolectaron dinero en sus escuelas para enviar tarjetas de regalo a las víctimas de las tormentas en Kentucky y Tennessee. Los estudiantes recaudaron alrededor de 4.000 dólares. Los empleados de la FCTA que ayudaron a cargar y entregar comidas durante el fin de semana incluyeron al director ejecutivo Kenney Etherton; la directora de marketing, Kim Jobe; y los conductores Tonda Casey; Shaun Destratis; Jenny Evans, Armeta Johnson; Kim óxido; y Goldie Taylor. Se pueden ver más fotos del evento en la página de álbumes de fotos de este sitio web.


La conductora de BGCAP Rebecca Hafley (izquierda) y el conductor de RTEC Michael Dixon (arriba) estuvieron entre los que mantuvieron viajes gratuitos de ayuda en el área de Mayfield/Condado de Graves.

La 'caballería' de la Commonwealth ayuda a mantener activo el programa de ayuda para tornados de la FCTA

By Kim Jobe

Fulton County Transit Authority Marketing Director

Just like in the old TV Westerns, Fulton County Transit Authority put out a call for help and the “Transit cavalry” showed up.

On December 17, a week after a tornado tore through portions of Western Kentucky, FCTA Executive Director Kenney Etherton sent out a call to members of the Kentucky Public Transit Association for assistance – in the form of 10 vehicles and 10 drivers - to help with relief efforts in Cayce and Mayfield/Graves County.  

KPTA answered quickly and largely.

Later that day, the FCTA Leadership Team put together a plan of action for the tornado relief transportation utilizing FCTA personnel and the visiting drivers from across the Commonwealth. That weekend, drivers from Paducah Area Transit System (PATS), Murray-Calloway Transit Agency, Audubon Area Community Services, Inc., and Pennyrile Allied Community Services Organization, Inc. arrived in Mayfield to work.

Under the leadership of FCTA Operations Manager Rachel Cook and FCTA Driver Supervisor Frank Glisson, the volunteer drivers transported those displaced residents from local hotels and shelters to seek assistance from state and governmental agencies as well as food and supplies from donation sites around the area on Saturday and Sunday. Some of the drivers transported those assigned to the area Kentucky State Parks, with what belongings they had gathered up, to their temporary shelter. 

Sunday evening, three vehicles and three drivers from Bluegrass Community Action Partnership, Inc. arrived in Fulton to go to work in the Mayfield area Monday morning. Throughout the week before Christmas and the next week, drivers from Federated Transportation Service of the Bluegrass (FTSB), Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated, Inc. (RTEC), Frankfort Transit System, and Transit Authority of River City (TARC) also arrived ready to do what they do best – moving people from place to place.

Transit Authority of River City (TARC) also brought a Louisville city bus loaded with supplies and employees to the area to help make certain water, baby formula, diapers, and other items were available for those needing them.

When asked, many of the drivers said they really didn’t know what to expect from their assignment.

“I took a guy over to his apartment building near downtown Mayfield,” said Rebecca Hafley, a driver from Bluegrass Community Action Partnership, Inc. in Frankfort. “He had lived on the third floor. The whole upstairs was gone.”

The man, Hafley said, told her that he heard a tornado was headed their way and attempted to get his neighbors to evacuate to the building’s basement with him. One refused, Hafley recalled the man saying, and was found later under a fallen wall where she perished.

“You can see his belongings and his clothes still hanging in the closet there,” Hafley said, pointing to the apartment building and the area where the man had once resided.

Driving through a neighborhood near downtown Mayfield where cleanup had yet to begin, Hafley said the devastation was amazing and weighed somewhat heavily on her emotions.

“I’ve been through downtown way too many times,” the driver added. “It’s very sad.”

Hafley also said seeing the Mayfield/Graves County area in person gives you a better perspective of the power of the storm than seeing it on TV.

“You’re more desensitized sitting at home,” Hafley explained.

Driving a woman from a church in Mayfield to a hotel in Paducah, Hafley said the woman began sharing about her experience during the tornado.

“She said during the storm she fell on her knees and began praying, ‘Lord, Jesus, save me!’,” Hafley recalled. “And he did.”

Hafley also recalled transporting a woman who was at home in a Mayfield housing project prior to the storm.

“She said her apartment is the only thing still upright there,” Hafley said. “She opened the front window and a back window and locked her and her doggie in the bathroom. She believes that saved them.”

The kindness and goodness of humanity made a real mark on the BGCAP driver while in the Mayfield/Graves County area.

“People from everywhere have come to Mayfield and are making a difference,” Hafley said. “I took some people to Mayfield High School. When we pulled up, some volunteers asked one man how many children he had. When he told them two, they gave him two gift cards with $500 each on them – one for each child – and age-appropriate toys for the children as well.”

Given the widespread damage and the amount of people forced from their homes because of the tornado, Hafley thought she would be busier.

“We have transported quite a few people, though,” she added.

Her last day spent volunteering in the area had Hafley driving to and from Mayfield and two of the state parks housing area residents which did keep her from being idle too much.

Hafley admitted the only thing she didn’t know what to expect about the area was what was available and what wasn’t for herself, her husband – who is also a BGCAP driver – and their coworker.

“I was worried about what would be available to eat,” Hafley admitted. “So, we went to the store and got Pop Tarts, honey buns, dry cereal, instant oatmeal, peanut butter and crackers – “snacky” stuff we could eat on if we had to. But we really haven’t needed it.”

Michael Dixon, Operations Manager for Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated, Inc. (RTEC) in Mount Vernon was another driver who was impacted by his time spent helping those who were displaced by the December 10 storm.

“I had a few thoughts in my head on what the City of Mayfield would look like once we got there,” Dixon said. “It’s safe to say the pictures and media didn’t do it justice on what it looks like in person. I was overwhelmed.”

The destruction of all the buildings and houses are a memory that Dixon said would always be with him.

“One of the ladies I took to the high school to get supplies, she and her daughter were in the candle factory that night. She said she was on top of her daughter covering her up and they were trapped for five hours,” Dixon recalled. “They were unhurt, but their friend was five feet from them, and she passed away. That’s sad.”

A veteran of the United States Navy, Dixon said he has joined in relief work oversees in other countries.

“This was by far the worst destruction I have been a part of,” Dixon said. “Hopefully they will be able to build back this beautiful town soon.”

Other volunteer drivers may not have openly shared their experiences with the tornado relief, but many left visibly changed from their time spent in Mayfield/Graves County. One driver left Mayfield in tears as she was heading towards home. Several others told Glisson, their FCTA guide in the area, that the time spent driving those residents displaced by the storm gave them a more heartwarming and profound definition of the “spirit of giving” during the holiday season.

FCTA drivers were not absent during the early part of the tornado relief in the storm damaged areas. Several spent their workday staged near First Baptist Church in Cayce assisting those in need of transportation or ready to move volunteers from one place to another. Other FCTA drivers spent time between their medical or other calls shuttling displaced residents from sites to receive federal, state, or local assistance to churches and other areas to get supplies or a hot meal. Much of the time the drivers were someone to listen as survivors recalled their personal stories of December 10 and how the storm affected them.

“This really helped put a purpose to why we exist,” FCTA Executive Director Kenney Etherton said. “It’s about helping people and providing for their needs no matter the situation. We are more than taking people to the grocery store or to medical visits. Helping people in disasters is part of our mission as well.”

The agency leader has had a mantra of sorts during his years of service to the community.

“I have said many times when I lay my head on the pillow at night that I know we helped people that day,” Etherton said. “We proudly serve four counties. We are a part of every community we serve. We are there for them no matter what even in the day-to-day transportation.”

Etherton knows FCTA is fortunate that the foresight was there 35 years ago when it was established.

“We are an asset to these four counties,” Etherton added “We are truly going and coming your way, no matter what the way is.”


El director ejecutivo de la FCTA, Kenney Etherton, la gerente de operaciones Rachel Cook y el supervisor de conductores Frank Glisson ayudaron a los empleados de la Autoridad de Tránsito de River City a entregar las donaciones que reunieron en Louisville para las víctimas del tornado del área. El grupo entregó suministros por valor de unos 7.500 dólares a través de un autobús urbano.


Agencia de transporte entrega suministros en autobús urbano

Los residentes del área que pensaron haber visto recientemente un autobús urbano grande y gris viajando por la I-69 y Purchase Parkway no estaban viendo una ilusión óptica. Efectivamente se trataba de un autobús urbano.

La Autoridad de Tránsito de River City (TARC) envió uno de sus autobuses más nuevos al oeste de Kentucky desde Louisville. Los letreros en el autobús indicaban que el vehículo estaba en una misión de socorro por el tornado. A bordo del autobús se encontraban empleados de la agencia y una gran cantidad de suministros que incluían agua embotellada, pañales, fórmula para bebés, cepillos de dientes, pasta de dientes y otras necesidades para los residentes de Mayfield y el condado de Graves.

"La recolección de suministros fue muy apreciada", dijo el director ejecutivo de la Autoridad de Tránsito del Condado de Fulton, Kenney Etherton. "Esto demuestra que todos los ámbitos de la vida en la Commonwealth se están uniendo donde otros habitantes de Kentucky lo necesitan".

Conduciendo un vehículo FCTA, la gerente de operaciones Rachel Cook y la directora de marketing Kim Jobe condujeron el autobús TARC al recinto ferial del condado de Mayfield/Graves. El supervisor de conductores de la FCTA, Frank Glisson, se reunió con el grupo en el recinto ferial para ayudar con la entrega de los artículos. Los empleados de ambas agencias se unieron a los voluntarios en el “infield” para ayudar a colocar las donaciones en paletas de madera para que pudieran distribuirse a los sitios dentro del área para ser recogidas según fuera necesario.

Esta no fue la primera agencia de Transporte que envió asistencia al área dañada por los tornados del 10 de diciembre.

"Hemos tenido agencias que nos proporcionaron conductores y vehículos", explicó Etherton. “Hemos proporcionado más de 300 viajes a residentes desplazados en los condados de Fulton y Graves por parte de conductores voluntarios durante las últimas dos semanas. Sin la ayuda de nuestras agencias asociadas, no habríamos podido realizar los servicios necesarios en este momento”.

El líder del FCTA está extremadamente agradecido con quienes han ayudado.

"Gracias es una pequeña palabra por la ayuda que hemos recibido", dijo Etherton. “Cuando el tornado azotó el área de Mayfield/Condado de Graves el 10 de diciembre, perdimos 11 vehículos de nuestra flota en nuestra oficina en North Ninth Street. Por eso se valoró tanto la ayuda de nuestros socios. El apoyo general ha sido casi emocionalmente abrumador en ocasiones y demuestra que todavía hay mucha bondad en la humanidad cuando los vecinos ayudan a los vecinos”.


EMPLEADO SUPERIOR - Kenny Patterson ha sido nombrado Empleado del año de la Autoridad de Tránsito del Condado de Fulton para 2021. El honor anual se elige mediante votación secreta por parte de los empleados de la FCTA. Patterson, residente de Clinton, ha sido mecánico de la FCTA durante cinco años. "Kenny es un miembro valioso de nuestro equipo de mantenimiento", dijo el director ejecutivo de la FCTA, Kenney Etherton. En la foto (de izquierda a derecha) están Patterson y Etherton.

pequeño kenny.jpg
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