October 20, 2015
On October 3rd, TWG sent out a blog about the ambulance not being staffed at Station 1 (Jackson Lake Rd.). Several times this past week that same ambulance was not staffed, and again this morning only 1 person was on staff, and that person was a basic EMT. A basic EMT can do nothing but assist; they cannot even put in an IV.
A call was put in to Comm. Pennamon this morning about the situation, and he checked on it. But instead of actually going by Station 1 to verify staffing, it appears all he did was ask James Gregory and took his word that Medic 1 was staffed.
This is one of the things that was discussed at the Town Hall meeting. A lack of staffing for an ambulance in the northern part of the county, where the highest concentration of people reside, is unacceptable. Not only that, but many of the people in the Turtle Cove, Alcovy Shores, and the North Alcovy areas are retired and more likely to need ambulance service.
The lack of staffing is a major problem and eventually someone is going to die because of it.
This evening at 6:30pm this station was checked again. A vehicle was outside, but no one was at the station and the ambulance was not there either.
Many times all ambulances and the rescue truck are at Station 3. This means it would take almost 3 times longer to respond to people in the north part of the county, than it would if an ambulance was housed and staffed at Station 1 like it should be.
The commissioners can continue to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the problems at EMS, but by ignoring them they will only get worse. With an $813,424 budget, and 2 new ambulances (one new and one with a total remount), EMS should be able to provide excellent service to Jasper County. Instead, Director James Gregory has gotten a big raise and certain people that he and his scheduler, Debria Murphy, cater to get tremendous overtime. Everyone else has been terminated or not called in to work.
TWG repeatedly warned about Sherry Braley not coming into work, not having to turn in PTO time, not keeping logs, receiving raises while not doing her job, etc. The commissioners did nothing and in fact praised her in many meetings. The only reason Sherry Braley is not still working for Jasper County is because the auditor found where she was “misappropriating” funds, and the Sheriff called in the GBI who arrested her. Otherwise, our BOC would still be acting like nothing was wrong in P&Z Department.
The best thing the County Manager, Mike Benton, could do is to make each department head accountable for the way the department is run and for the work ethic of the employees. If they can’t do it or won’t do it, they need to be fired.
Something needs to be done sooner rather than later before there are serious consequences. And Commissioners, when someone dies needlessly, don’t say you had no way of knowing there were problems at EMS.
Your comments are welcome!