Polk reinstates medical respondersPublished 6:10pm Wednesday, February 13, 2013
She said most volunteers in the county want to continue their education and become EMTs. She also said there are approximately 60 volunteers in the EMS system while years ago there were 40 volunteers.
“We have, and I still believe this, one of the best EMS systems and what makes us different are these people, be it paid or volunteers, care about the people,” Halford said. “I’ve seen them hold peoples’ hands, go to their house and let their dogs out. People in this system care. We are unique from all other systems. We have people come from other areas who can’t believe we have people take the time with the patients. Please keep that in mind. I hate to see that change.”
Following the medical responder discussion, Gasperson expressed concerns that the medical director advertisement doesn’t require the person to be endorsed by the hospital.
“None of us has expertise in medicine and I think we need the hospital’s endorsement,” said Gasperson. “I want to make sure that endorsement plays a vital role.”
Pack said he thinks the advertisement is clear that it can be from the hospital or a local medical group.
“I don’t think we need to narrow it down to just the hospital,” Pack said.
Gasperson said he thinks it’s critical and thinks if the county doesn’t have an endorsement from the hospital, “we look foolish.”
Holbert asked Gasperson if he is suggesting the county turn EMS over to the hospital.
“If they are going to dictate how it goes, why don’t they just run it,” Holbert asked.
Gasperson said he doesn’t think the hospital would take EMS.
Commissioner Owens said it sort of sounds like the hospital makes the choice, not the county.
“You’re saying if they don’t have the endorsement of the hospital then we don’t want them?” said Owens. “They may not have the hospital’s endorsement but it may be the only choice we’ve got.”
Gage asked who is responsible for EMS.
“We are,” other commissioners said.
“Then we should make the choice.”
Gasperson suggested the county asked Dr. Owens to stay on another 90 days then have a committee established to discuss some of the issues.
Commissioners Dr. Owens said Owens was given that choice and she was welcome to stay on. “She chose the 15th (of February) deadline, not us,” Owens said.
“She was given the opportunity to stay on until we found someone else,” said Owens.