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VIDEO | How Ted Wynn Transformed Public Safety in Bulloch County

From a lack of ambulances to an envy-worthy Public Safety division, Ted Wynn's political skills drive success in Bulloch County. Community leaders came together to thank him for his service to all of us at his retirement reception last week. Click on the picture to read about Ted's journey.
Ted Wynn with Tom Couch with his retirement gift

When Ted Wynn began working as an EMT in Bulloch County, they barely had ambulances and there was no EMS station.

Nearly five decades later, 32 years with Bulloch Public Safety, Wynn has led the way in building out a model Public Safety division that is the envy of communities twice our size.

A Political Gift from His Father: How Ted Wynn's Skills Helped Shape his Success

There are many wonderful attributes that contribute to his success, but one of the most valuable are his political skills, which were a gift to him by his late father Dr. Edwin Wynn, Sr.

Ted is a dynamic leader who mastered the ability to build consensus -- a trait that is rare and more difficult than ever today. 

Grice Connect followers, you were first introduced to Ted through hurricanes and severe weather. Then you came to rely on his daily COVID reports here on Grice Connect. Ted became the calming voice of reassurance we have all depended on. No matter how bad things were, you could always count on Ted leading the way.

Ted follows the retirement of Doug Vickers, Bulloch County EMS Director, and Lee Eckles, Deputy Public Safety Director. Both retired within the last few weeks and were instrumental in working beside Ted to build out our public safety agencies.

Building a Model Public Safety Division: Ted Wynn's Leadership and Legacy

Ted Wynn's public service began in August of 1975 when he went to work for EMS, which was then located inside the Bulloch Memorial Hospital on Grady Street.  That same month, he married his wife of nearly 50 years, Terri Wynn.

“I want to thank my wife Terri for all of the love and support she has given me through this almost half a century we have been together. She is a cancer survivor and an inspiration to me. I admire and love her so much and thank her so much for being there for me through all of these years,” Wynn said at his retirement reception.

Ted Wynn speaks at his retirement reception. DeWayne Grice

Ted had worked part time at Bulloch County EMS for nearly two decades when Lee Eckles hired him full time in 1991 to start the 911 system. Prior to that, he worked for Georgia Southern University under Chief Ken Brown and Mike Russell. Through public safety, he got to know Ellis Wood. It was Ellis who inspired and instilled the importance of giving back to the community and taught him that helping others in need is where you truly find peace.

1970's newspaper story. Emory Melton is kneeling in the center. George Jackson is the officer standing. Special

His position with Bulloch County grew to include EMS, 911 for Candler, Bulloch, and Evans County, Animal Services, EMA, Bulloch Fire, and Probation. His role was very diverse.

He has served seven County Commission Chairmen, including the current Chair Roy Thompson, and two county managers, Scott Wood and Tom Couch.  

“My success has been dependent on my leadership team through the years including: 

  • Janice Grayson, one of our first 911 employees
  • Wendy and Chris Ivey
  • Lee Eckles
  • Doug Vickers 
  • Brian Hendrix
  • Ben Tapley
  • Mitch Sikes
  • Joe Carter
  • Kristy Black
  • Barbara Diez
  • Joe Sanders
  • Amanda Anderson
  • Kelly Barnard
  • Tammy Smith
  • Janice Shaw
  • Alexis Dykes
  • Donterious Lester

These are the folks that make it happen. My job is easy when you have folks like this that surround you and they do the work. I want to thank the Sheriffs that I have had the privilege and honor to serve including:

  • Arnold Ray Akins
  • Lynn Anderson
  • Noel Brown

I also want to thank the citizens of this county,” Wynn said.

At Ted’s retirement, many of Bulloch County leaders spoke, showing him with gratitude for his loyal service to our community. The speakers included:

  • Tom Couch, Bulloch County Manager
  • Roy Thompson, Bulloch County Commission Chair
  • Jappy Stringer, Bulloch County Commissioner
  • Anthony Simmons, Bulloch County Commissioner
  • Noel Brown, Bulloch County Sheriff
  • Shari Barr, Statesboro Mayor Pro Tem
  • Nancy Bryant, Founder of Ogeechee Area Hospice
  • Charles Penny, Statesboro City Manager

“Ted’s retirement marks the end of an era. He has given 32 years of service and leadership to this community. I don’t have the words to describe what you have done for this county. His successes far outweigh and overwhelm the demands of his jobs. I view his greatest success in his character, which is grounded in his faith and his family. He is trustworthy, loyal, compassionate ... all traits of his that extend far beyond his job and career,” said Tom Couch, County Manager.

Ted is looking forward to spending more time with his children Jake and his wife Jennifer, Leah and her husband Tony Beaudry, Amy and her husband David Long along with their soon to be 9 grandchildren.

Ted's last day is January 31, 2024.  Randy Tillman, Bulloch County Warden has been named has his successor.

You can watch the video of the retirement remarks below:

Always there when you need him

I first met Ted when I joined Bulloch County EMS. We became fast friends, and he became a mentor to me. Over the next four decades, we have continued to work side by side in times of our community's greatest needs. No matter what, I always knew Ted would be there leading the way.

There is a level of comfort that depth of leadership and knowledge brings to a community which will be difficult to replace.

Together we have joined him in building out resources to meet the humanitarian needs in our community. After we worked together during Hurricane Matthew, he encouraged and supported the formation of Bulloch County VOAD.

Late 80's picture of the crew at the old fire station on Courtland Street. Ted Wynn is standing on the back row middle with shades.  Doug Vickers is third from left Sanding.  Lee Eckles is on far right standing with hand up.  DeWayne Grice is kneeling by stretcher on far right. Barry Turner is on the stretcher. Lori Grice

Shortly after that, we saw a need to provide a consistent, reliable, central source of communication for our community when we are facing local disasters. From this need, the foundation of Grice Connect began.

Ted Wynn (L) DeWayne Grice (R). Lori Grice

During COVID, he leaned on Grice Connect heavily to help provide rapidly changing and critical information to our community. It was through this that Grice Connect gained its footing and began our journey to becoming the first place our community turns in times of need.

Few people have been more supportive or encouraging of Grice Connect than Ted. He saw the need, and we built out the platforms to serve these needs.

Together we have swam with more than our share of alligators. But I can’t think of another person I'd rather wade into the water with than Ted.

I have already extended an offer for him to join the Grice Connect and Bulloch VOAD teams in a few months after he gets bored with retirement. So maybe again soon you will hear the calm voice of Ted through the pages of Grice Connect.

Until then, I wish Ted much success in retirement and I know that he will take on retirement with all the gusto he has managed every challenge in his life.