Volunteers speak out about problems with EMSPublished 9:43pm Thursday, January 24, 2013
Scope of practice exam
Issues escalated in the fall of 2010, when Dr. Owens and EMS Director Sandra Halford implemented a new version of the scope of practices exam for first responders, which required responders to react in mock scenarios. At the time, 35 of the county’s 41 emergency responders failed the test.
“Ninety-four percent of the county’s responders failed the test, but she [Dr. Owens] failed everyone for the most ridiculous reasons. It was like they did not want you to pass,” Edwards said.
Edwards initially failed the test, he said, because his cell phone went off. He said he was told that was unprofessional and was required to retest. The Bulletin could not confirm with EMS the reason Edwards failed because Halford was unavailable for comment as of press time.
Edwards said during the skills evaluation responders were given a scenario with a plastic doll as their patient. They then were asked to describe what treatment they would implement based on the scenario given, he said.
“Dealing with a plastic toy versus a real life human is an entirely different world. I feel they could have better explained the scenarios that they were giving us,” Edwards said.
Dr. Owens argues the test provides a more accurate picture of how a responder would react in an emergency situation. With most of the system’s volunteers failing the initial test, volunteers were asked to take a course to better prepare them.
“Two years ago they came to the plate and they took the 16-hour refresher course,” Dr. Owens said. “That shows an incredible amount of commitment and dedication and they deserve a lot of credit for doing so.”