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.