PETERSBURG, W.Va. — The fired Grant County dispatcher who delivered a Christmas message focused on Jesus Christ on Christmas Eve over the county’s pager system said he doesn’t anticipate fighting to get his job back.

Both Jared Alt and fellow dispatcher Hunter Whetzel lost their jobs last week. Their boss said they were insubordinate and violated FCC regulations regarding public safety frequency usage when the message went out.

Alt told MetroNews affiliate WDYK Radio said he did what was right and will probably just move on.

“I don’t see myself fighting to get my job back,” Alt said. “It’s whatever God tells me to do. I’m going to have to try and find a job; I got bills to pay like everybody else. I’ve let him guide my steps so far and He’s going to guide the rest of my steps.”

Alt said other local counties broadcast Santa Claus sightings on the radio. He said he wanted to send a different message.

“I decided to put one on there about Jesus and the reason we are able to celebrate the holidays,” he said. “I typed it up and prayed about it. I walked outside and prayed about it. I knew it’s was God wanted me to do so I did it.”

Whetzel said he’s heard from many people who were encouraged by the message.

“They were really touched and very thankful that we did it and it really made their Christmas awesome,” he said.

Officials with the Grant County emergency dispatch have said they cannot comment on personnel issues.


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  • think about this

    Let him who has no fault cast the first stone...I am sure that leaves none of us with a rock to throw.

    • just me

      amen to think about this we all have faults

  • just me

    People would not be whining so much if they weren't afraid of what is going to happen to them because (OH my goodness) I can't let my friends think I am Christian) guess what folks there is a GOD and one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and that will happen so you people that are bad mouthing God get ready he will have the last word and you will go to HELL and when you are burning it will be to late to ask GOD for help. You better start praying and ask God to forgive your sins and to come into your life and that you may be forgiven and saved and that he will write your name down in the Lambs book of life

  • wvemt

    To make sure everyone is clear on my opinion here it is. Was it a FCC violation? Yes it was. But Whetzel wasn't heard on the broadcast. Alt pretty much said he wasnt worried about his job. That's his business. The other dispatcher being fired was alittle extreme. Suspend him without pay or something to that nature. Good dispatchers are hard to find. What ever happened to giving people a second chance to prove themselves? Its all about power and authority. That's whats wrong with this entire country, not just little Grant County. The little people get walked on and the big people get away with everything.

    • fair is fair

      while Whetzel was not heard on the original broadcast, he claimed responsibility in his posts on facebook. I think the whole issue has been blown out of proportion ..all said and done, no one was hurt, both have been punished for their error of judgment...put them back to work and move on. None of us have not made mistakes in how we handle things.

  • wvemt

    Hey mtnmedic, get off your high horse about public safety. This kind of thing goes on everywhere in the United States. So what they disobeyed orders why not just suspend them or something other than firing them. Theres more to the whole story than you will ever know about Grant County politics. Sounds like you might be one of the so called elite bunch in the county. Worse things than that incident has happened and nothing done but hidden under the rug!

  • Preacher's wife

    God will bless you with something better for being obedient to His will!

    • mtnmedic

      Being so willfully and brazenly disobedient to your boss almost always gets you fired.

  • Paul

    I agree with the comment about keeping religion out of the public discourse. That doesn't make me anti-Christian or anti-Muslim or anti-anything. t think it was Jesus who said, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." I think is was also that same Jesus who offered advice on how to pray: privately and humbly. That's not bad advice.

  • Gandyman


    • just me

      No you haven't lost you are just stating your opinion for others to read why are you here reading the comments Gandyman if you feel that way. If you have nothing else to do start praying

    • mtnmedic


      Another thing I would add to that is this:

      If you are denying reality on the computer, you have already lost.

  • rick

    Let's keep religion in the church and our homes and keep it out of the public discourse like the Constitution intended. People would be up set if they put out a Jewish, Islamist, or other religious message. Folks have forgotten their history in favor of the Christmas myth. It was once illegal to celebrate Christmas in America because they thought it was a Pagan holiday.

    • Shadow

      I like the theory that "a rejoicing" occurred after it was determined by the ancient astronomers that the daylight was increasing and another year was forthcoming. Some have chosen to mark it with the birth of Jesus and others with another event. What does it matter what event is chosen? It is an individual thing.

  • Shadow

    Can someone explain how they were hurt by a message of a good faith? Time off but being fired doesn't make sense and doesn't speak well of their upper management.

    • mtnmedic

      Committing a Federal offense while in the commission of your employer is a surfire way of getting fired. Duh.

    • Gigi

      I agree Shady.

  • jeff

    I just found out from a dispatcher at Grant, Peggy let them work almost another full month before she even thought of firing them, and she heard it Christmas eve. If it was so bad, why did she wait so long to fire them?? Guess maybe she should keep saying the time down town showing her under ware on Facebook, but I guess that's professional.

    • just me

      so she and the other dispatchers could have their scheduled CHRISTmas breaks

    • mtnmedic

      Some people lack judgment. Including supervisors. That Peggy will likely have gotten a talking to by her superiors about not having addressed this sooner.

      Yes, it was SO bad. Let's pretend YOU are an employer. How would YOU feel if you told some employees not to do something and not only did they disobey you, they did it in grand fashion? And that they broke Federal regulations that could cost you your radio license? And that they BOASTED about it on Facebook and admitted what they did was wrong and could cost them their jobs? Does that tell you these guys cared about their jobs? Do you really want that kind of insubordination and insolence in your establishment?

      Especially in a PUBLIC SAFETY business?

      • jeff

        I am a manager, and have been for many years as has Peggie. Managers know if you have something bad enough to fire someone without warning, write ups, or written reprimand, it is done IMMEDIATELY, not put them back in a critical position such as a dispatcher for a month then fire them blaming the commission. I went even further this week and called FCC they said they don't tell people to fire employees for that, but they then had me call Dulles, I asked them, they said they had a supervisor call with such a similar complaint and did not tell them to fire their employee either, stated she was calling to see what she could do to the employee for it. I didn't tell them I was calling from this county. Seems alot of deception is being put out to fire these two. I will be at the meeting Tuesday at the courthouse. I have still yet to see how the second employee was fired when he didn't transmit or say the transmission. The answer to your question though, I'd no you don't just fireman employee for doing something you tell them not too unless it was extreme and dangerous, or we all would be fired as no one is perfect. I believe the employee who transmitted should be reprimanded for not listening, a week or two without pay, but termination. NO. I have had people do far far worse and not terminate. Ask your self have I followed every order given? A good medic with experience does not follow every protocol in the book either because sometimes it won't work. Should you loose your medic or be terminated from deviating from a book?

  • Preacher

    I am willing to take a stand and go to the Grant County Commission to request these individuals re-instatement. This is hypocrisy at its finest. It's OK to Track Santa, but not share a short message of JESUS? It's ok to give a LAST CALL for a fallen comrade, but not a message of thanks and hope? What have we become. The BIBLE says EVERY knee shall bow and EVERY tongue shall confess that JESUS CHRIST is LORD. May as we'll choose to do it in this life, wouldn't you think?

    • mtnmedic

      Maybe you religious folks don't understand.

      First, the FCC has STRICT regulations about how certain radio frequencies are used, particularly PUBLIC SAFETY frequencies. Frequency allocations for general use in PRIVATE business -like plumbers and tow trucks-use are totally different and have much more leeway as to what can be said over the air. Aside from that, these guys used a GOVERNMENT radio system to promote religious beliefs, which is illegal. Also, the licensee of the radio frequencies involved also runs the risk of having their frequency allocation permanently revoked.

      Keep in mind....the Constitution, which you religious people seem to think God himself handed down to Americans and clutch close to your chest, CLEARLY establishes a separation of Church and State in the First Amendment.

      Ever hear any fire and police units being paged or dispatched on FM or AM radio, television signal, FRS (family radio band), ham and C.B. frequencies? No. That, too, would be deemed as illegal use of those frequencies. In fact, singing a song on ham radio frequencies is illegal use. Public safety frequencies were designed specifically and ONLY for public safety operations-related conversations and messages for one good reason: lives and property depend upon it. It doesn't matter if it's only for paging and there's a lull and everyone's asleep, waiting for a call.

      These dispatchers KNEW and ADMITTED doing what they did was a violation of their workplace policies. The dispatchers were told that there was to be no "holiday talk" over the radio. These clowns not only IGNORED a direct order, they elected to use the radio frequency assigned to pagers claiming this somehow circumvented the order.

      If you work at the checkout stand at a grocery store and your boss tells everyone at work "I don't want anyone singing" and you decide to bust out a religious song because you just "KNEW" everyone "NEEDED" to hear it, claiming Christ's message HAS to be heard, you would be SO out of a job. It has NOTHING to do with your religious affiliation and doesn't arise to discrimination. It has everything to do with your ability to do your job, which includes adhering to company policies and the directions given to you by your supervisor. You were hired to check groceries, not sing songs. The standards for public safety professionals are FAR greater. A public safety dispatcher's job isn't to editorialize or to entertain. At all. It's to relay vital PUBLIC SAFETY information.

      You willingly break the rules, you get to pay the consequences if you're caught. End of story. Any excuses for what these guys did is a giant stinking pile of FAIL.

      It's PUBLIC SAFETY radio, not the Christian Broadcast Network. Don't like it? That's too bad. Until the Church takes over all aspects of the government, that's the way it will be. Post your little religious messages on Facebook or YouTube or have a Christian radio station air it for you.

      And this isn't a jab on Christianity. Had these guys been Muslims I have no doubt there would be little sympathy for them.

      By the way. "Freedom of speech" doesn't guarantee a pulpit. Christianity doesn't guarantee you're right about anything.

  • Tom

    When told not to do it they did it anyhow
    That is insuborindation

    Stop marketing Jesus

    We all are not believers

    • Clint

      Not everyone believes in Santa, Alla,
      nor Alien life, but does anyone else catch crap
      for what they believe in?
      All The Liberals want to point fingers about tolerence for thier beliefs, but YOU BETTER BELIEVE THE SAME AS THEY DO.
      Any other belief will not be tolerated.
      Isnt that right?

      • mtnmedic

        Oh here's another fabulously misinformed conservative who thinks that this has everything to do with belief in anything.

        Get a clue:

        They were TOLD not to transmit Christmas-related chatter. Not only did they disobey that order from their bosses, they put on a nearly three-minute sermon. Disobeying your boss so brazenly is a surefire way to lose your job.

        They violated Federal regulations. Committing a crime in the commission of your job is also a surefire way to get fired.

        They boasted their acts and acknowledged that what they did was wrong and they could lose their jobs on Facebook. This essentially tells everyone they don't care about their jobs.

        It has NOTHING to do with belief in God, aliens, Santa, witches, ghosts, goblins, a capitalist system that actually fosters caring about people, etc.

        It has EVERYTHING to do with their ability or inability to do their job as they were instructed to. Go ahead, ask any employer if he/she would put up with gross insubordination.

    • Preacher

      That is sad Tom... Even though you may not believe, why are you choosing to exhibit disgust to those who may need faith in their lives? No one is MARKETING JESUS. We are sharing hope and love... GOD BLESS YOU TOM, and I'll be praying that you find the need to believe....

      • mtnmedic

        Marketing Jesus or sharing "hope and love"-it's all the same if you do it over GOVERNMENT RADIO. Which, by the way, is illegal in more ways than one.

        Not only that, it's STUPID. That's a PUBLIC SAFETY system. Let me define that for you: FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY.

        I applaud your devotion to God, but I deplore your audacity to think that this stunt is entirely innocent rather than brazen and willfully ignorant.

  • Rick S.

    "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you." -- Matthew 5:11

    I have no problem with the men being disciplined for breaking the rules. I hope the rules are enforced consistently and fairly.

    May God bless America.

    • Gods Child

      why would God bless American when American does not bless God

    • mtnmedic

      FINALLY....a person of faith who actually GETS it!

      Thank you for having a little clarity. I applaud your strength of faith and your understanding that wrongdoing has consequences, no matter what they be.