September 13, 2016

With EMS Operations and Billing Services on the agenda last night, there was much anticipation as to what the BOC had decided to do about privatizing EMS.



Comm. Trammell stated, “We all looked at restructuring and outsourcing.”   Then he added, “We will outsource EMS billing and keep the EMS service as is.”  His reason was that new requirements would cost the county lots of money. 

The documents used by the BOC state—“The key to having a successful Combined Fire/EMS Service is having the RIGHT DIRECTOR for the job.” 

Comm. Luke made the motion to hire an EMS director and obtain bids for the billing.  Comm. Henry seconded.  This motion was approved 3 to 1 with Comm. Pennamon against.  Comm. Salmon was absent.

After the vote, Comm. Trammell tried to explain how Comm. Pennamon felt; however, Comm. Pennamon took the floor to speak for himself.  He gave a history of EMS. 

Start at 1:40 on the video and listen to some cold hard facts about EMS.

When asked about the EMS director applicants, Mike Benton informed the BOC that there were 10, and he would start interviewing them.

Comm. Pennamon also made mention that only 3 of the 8 full-time EMS employees live in Jasper County.  Mike Benton admitted there was a lot of turnover at EMS.

Something that was not actually said, but was certainly alluded to by Comm. Pennamon, is this—

The last 3 EMS directors- Jeff Bratcher, Ellett Jackson, and James Gregory – all have reported insubordination and sabotage of the EMS service and the EMS director to the County Manager(s) and to the commissioners serving at the time.  They all mention one person that has pitted employees against each and every one of the EMS directors that Jasper County has had.  Please read James Gregory’s resignation letter about insubordination and sabotage here.

No FIRE/EMS director will ever be able to lead the service or succeed as long as that one person is allowed to continue to be insubordinate and sabotage any efforts made to turn the EMS service around.  Comm. Pennamon repeatedly said last night, “EMS will be a problem; it always has been and will always be a problem.”

Oh, did you know that there was NO ambulance at Station 1 to cover Turtle Cove and the northern part of the county last night?  Two of the ambulances and the crews were at the courthouse, with the crews sitting in the BOC meeting.  A third ambulance was at Station 3.  It wasn’t long ago that EMS crews were written up for attending a BOC meeting while on duty. Why did the current Fire/EMS interim director allow this to happen?



Citizens, be informed and stay informed!  Only by being informed can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County.  That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.

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  1. Samthemanwithnoplan says:

    TIL: Refusing to break protocols = insubordination and sabotage.

    Who knew? I’ll come back and work there when you pay medics more than the ingles clerks. 🙂


    If Commisioner Trammell spent as much time focused on maintaining county roads as he does on”growing” county debt , our roads would be in a lot better shape.

  3. JJ says:

    EMS, just get rid of it and privatize it. Nothing will change until the county does it. People keep leaving that department even after this weeks BOC meeting. No previous employees have or will return, not that any of them were very good anyway as has been stated by some community members who had their experiences with them. They claim it’s a combined EMS and Fire department which it is not despite whatever paperwork they have that tries to say so. What’s an ISO rating? And where is that new fire truck that’s suppose to be here by October? Hire and EMS director and pay them $53,000 to do what? Be harassed, undermined, and eventually quit or get fired like the last 3 were in the past 6 years. EMS director is not and has not ever been allowed to do their job. According to the budget for EMS (public record) they requested a couple hundred thousand dollars $$$$$$ for equipment that’s good for nothing since there are no people to staff ambulances. Numerous times since January, EMS has ran 1 truck with the other shutdown due to lack of personnel whether it was James Gregory being there, or Mr. Slocumb has been acting director. But I find it odd that there have been no reports of those ambulances not being staffed posted here in the past 5 months, even though I was told by several fire and EMS employees that they have had one unit out of service once a week, and sometimes twice due to lack of personnel in those past 5 months. I wonder should i open record request payroll and schedules for FIRE/EMS and verify that? And where were both ambulances on Saturday September 10th in the afternoon? Both were in Butts County on a 911 call with Butts County Fire/EMS units. Why were both Jasper ambulances across county lines? Who was providing service while those units were out of the county?

    • Check your facts says:

      The fire truck is in the county and at station 1. Station One’s truck is at 6. All 7 stations now have a truck.

    • Good points! I found out that on June 25th there were ONLY ONE ambulance staffed by two EMT!! NO paramedic on duty for the 24 hours! Scary! Heard this past Saturday Oct 1st that only had one ambulance, not sure if true. Employees say that when Mr Gregory was there that 99% of the time both ambulances were staffed. That they seldom “went down a truck” if so only for a few hours or Mr Gregory would cover. Nothing like it is now. Employees say only a few know who is working, the schedule they say shows one or two people on some days, They also said that many days since Gregory left they have only one ambulance and after Gregory left, within 2 months, 3 full time employees quit! One quit within one week! They advised they have 3 full time paramedics and 4 full time EMT. If they suppose to be at least one paramedic on each ambulance each day, then what is happening with the other ambulances and days? Shouldnt there be at least 12 full time employees, 6 paramedics and 6 EMT? This concerns me as my parents are elderly and may need a ambulance with a paramedic. Yes maybe we all should do an open records request of Chief Slocumb administration or lack of!
      I am concerned on how much money Chief Slocumb is going to cost the county due to his so call “combined service”? From what I have been told, Director Gregory was rocking the boat and telling County manager Mike Benton that the county was paying the employees wrong and illegal. This is due to not being trained or offered training within two years of being combined service. So does the county owe the employees back pay due to this?
      I am concerned why the county is willing to pay a private company to do the billing. My research of private billing companies is that they receive at least if not more that 10% of all money collected. if my math is correct then Jasper County will now pay some one over $50 thousand a year if not more. Interesting how they want to give the money away.
      I was told that Jeff Bratcher former Jasper County Director, has an company called Blue Cross, that his company is working with Jasper Memorial and doing the transports, explained to me that is taking patients from Jasper Memorial to other hospitals. Doesn’t the county give Jasper Memorial money each year? and Why is someone the county fired taking money from the Jasper County EMS? EMS employees say they don’t do many transports anymore out of the hospital.

      Please find out for us!

      • EMS or Transport Service says:

        James Gregory never got on a truck while he was at Jasper from what I remember. The ambulance service is shorthanded and citizens are being shortchanged. I would hate for any of my family members to have to take an ambulance ride with no paramedic on board, if one was even available. The JCEMS is more of a transport service at the beck and call of Jasper Memorial ever since Jarret has been in charge. Does he care if there is no ambulance available in the county? EMS Drama has it right, it can not get better with the same people running the show.

      • JJ says:

        J. Gregory did staff a truck on several occasions. There is proof on patient care reports and on 911 dispatch audio recordings. And how is it a transport service if it’s not being staffed? You have to have workers for a ambulance to run a call.

  4. Do your job says:

    Why is it that when we have folks causing real problems that we can not get anyone to take care of the problem. Good grief look how long it took us to get rid of Karen Diegs, the number one applicant we told them to not hire. We warned them of her history and yet years later they finally woke up and got rid of her for all the reasons we had told them before they hired her.

    We have told you and told you and told you who the number one problem is with EMS and the fire department. How much longer are you going to put off what should have been done a very long time ago? Fire him and DO NOT give him all the wonderful benefits that you gave Karen. He does not deserve it and he does not deserve unemployment either. The damage he has done and will continue to do does not warrant the benefit of unemployment benefits!!!

  5. EMS Drama says:

    The EMS has done nothing but go down hill! There is so much wrong going on there and it has continuously been allowed. The commissioners know that things are not right but they keep turning there heads. They have someone in charge who has never done EMS only fire. The board needs to just find the right company and privatize, then they take away all the cronies and favoritism that goes on. They had their 3 strikes in finding a EMS Director.

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