October 20, 2015

Board of Confusion 2As the old saying goes, “Ignorance is bliss.” Our BOC must go by this adage because they seem to ignore problems, even when they are told about them.

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.

Station 1 empty.10.20.15Many 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!


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  1. jeanKnight says:

    Why do james and debria still have a job? Shouldn’t James have to answer to the BOC? Why does debria get to have 2 jobs in the county and get paid overtime for any hours over 40? The red rescue truck I thought roamed the county a few days out of the week when there is a paid firefighter on it? I’ve seen it go to calls in the city as well as shady dale. To me it makes me feel better knowing that it’s going all over knowing it could be close to me on shady dale at any given time. But from what I’ve heard James is running everyone off because he treats some people better than he treats others and let’s other get away with a lot of things. And only certain people get overtime.

  2. Samthemanwithnoplan says:

    Sometimes the station 1 ambulance has to go to station 3. James makes them go there if 3 is on a call despite them getting more calls from the area were it is stationed. He’s also refused a extra ambulance to place down in shadydale area since he can’t even get people to stay here for the already open shifts they have.

    Did you know he wants to shut down station 1 once the renovations are done at station 3? Soon it really will kill someone James is doing his best to run it into the ground like he tried and failed to do in Putnam.

    Honestly someone needs to do something, I bet the medics and EMTs would say something if they weren’t scared of being fired…

    • Jack BeNibble says:

      Maybe Medic 1 goes to town to cover the entire county while the other ambulance goes out of town to another hospital or transporting a patient to another hospital. With Medic 1 in town, all citizens get the same response times. As far as more calls in the lake area, 911 calls have no boundaries.

      • taxdogs says:

        How do you explain medic one, medic three, the Extra ambulance, and the red response truck all being at station three most days during the week. Why would any director or any commissioner want to close station one?

  3. Jerry says:

    James and Debria will do anything to cover up what is going on and that includes falsifying time sheets. If Debria will write employees a personal check to cover up her mistakes there is no telling what else she has done and will do. Are the county commissioners going to continue to pretend to be ignorant?

  4. Not professional says:

    Paula,by sloppy I mean faded shirt with holes, untucked, dirty looking pants and dirty work boots, I should not have to take a picture if James was the supervisor he is being paid to be he would know how his staff looks in public, I see other services with the polo type shirts that do look professional, when James took this job their was gonna be good changes, from the outside looking in it looks worse than it has ever been, the county definitely not getting our tax dollars worth from the service their now.

  5. Scrap Recovery says:

    eaven if it was staffed it takes then 30 min to get to north end of the county!

  6. Paula says:

    If a Jasper county EMS employee looked sloppy, hopefully you took a picture so you could post or give to James or to one of the commissioners. Just as you should for any professional if you are concerned., I have seen their polo shirts, those really never look good(maybe for a golf game). maybe they should change uniforms and those black pants they wear, they look sloppy on anyone. Maybe they can starch them.

  7. Not professional says:

    What about a professional look, I was at the store the other day and the ambulance pulled up, they looked sloppy, is there no dress code for the county ambulance? From rumors of talking with different people no one wants to work there because of James and Debra, why can’t the commissioner’s get rid of the rest of Karen’ s garbage and get an ambulance service our county can be proud of.

  8. Jack BeNibble says:

    Instead of being a part of the problem, you could become part of the solution. Go to school and become a certified EMT and then a Paramedic and you could help the citizens out by being there when there is a time of need.

    • Will says:

      I complain about my road, so am I supposed to quit my job, go to school and learn how to fill potholes so I can help them out? It is the job of the EMS director to find people and staff the ambulances and to do his job.

    • Samthemanwithnoplan says:

      Go to school for a year+ and then work with a bunch of verbally abusive jerks for some of the lowest pay in the state?? You are insane!

  9. Richard says:

    Interesting that just because an ambulance IS NOT at station one does NOT mean it is NOT staff. From what I am reading, you ARE SAYING AND YOU FEEL that ONLY the people in The north part of the county are more important than the rest of the people in Jasper county. So citizens of Monticello, Hillsboro, Shady Dale, Mansfield, Mary Patrick don’t feel your life is as important as the ones off Jackson Lake Rd!

    • taxdogs says:

      The ambulance, Medic 1, was NOT staffed yesterday with 2 people. It doesn’t matter if it was at Station 1 or Station 3; it was not staffed. Jasper County lives matter, all of them. With the director playing games with who can and can’t work, everyone is in jeopardy, no matter where they live in the county.

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