Richmond County fire chief wants Gold Cross EMS contract to be reworked

Saturday, July 21, 2012 5:00 PM
Last updated Tuesday, July 31, 2012 6:49 PM
  • Follow Government

Editor's note: Because the 911 dispatch center records two different times – one on the computer and one on the audio recording – the time the center received a June 11 911 call was incorrect in a previous version of this article. The call came in at 7:28.

Back | Next
A Gold Cross ambulance drops off an accident victim at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. The service can be penalized for each minute it arrives late for a call.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
A Gold Cross ambulance drops off an accident victim at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. The service can be penalized for each minute it arrives late for a call.

Richmond County Fire Chief Chris James said the vague nature of the city’s contract with its ambulance service hinders his ability to make sure the company is living up to its agreement.

“There are key elements missing in the contract,” James said about the city’s contract with Gold Cross EMS. “I would like it to be reviewed and revised.”

One of those missing elements is the number of ambulances Gold Cross makes available to the county. The $1.3 million contract does not state how many ambulances Gold Cross must keep in service in Augusta at all times.

Its contract with Augusta says the company is responsible for “providing sufficient ambulances … to perform under this agreement.”

Gold Cross clearly defines the number of ambulances it will provide in its contracts with Columbia County – five –
and Jefferson County – four –
and where the ambulances are stationed.

Rural Metro, the company that provided Augusta ambulance service before Gold Cross took over in 2004, was mandated in its contract
to keep seven Advanced Life Support ambulances in
service in Richmond County at all times. That contract was for $700,000.

Bo Pounds, the owner of Gold Cross, said it is a “performance contract,” meaning as long as the company performs to the standards of the contract, they are compliant. He said he has at least 11 ALS ambulances on duty in Richmond County at all times.

James said because of how the contract is written, he cannot confirm that number.

“How do I verify that?” James said. “I don’t know where they are. I don’t know if they run out. There needs to be some oversight.”

ANOTHER STICKING POINT with the contract, James said, is that although it requires Gold Cross to place each call in a priority category of 1, 2 or 3, it does not define what each priority entails, such as a life-threatening situation or non-emergency. James said that would be the only way to determine whether the ambulance service is adequately getting to the scene on a timely basis. The priorities are defined in Columbia County’s contract.

In the highest priority call, Priority 1, the contract states the ambulance must arrive on scene in eight minutes if it’s within the city, 10 minutes in rural areas. In Priority 2, it has 10 minutes for urban areas, 12 minutes for rural areas; Priority 3 is 20 minutes regardless of area.

The contract has a tardiness penalty – $12 per minute late for Priority 1 calls; $6 for Priority 2; and $3 for Priority 3. But not contractually forcing Gold Cross to define the calls prevents accountability, James said.

Neither James nor City Administrator Fred Russell, who is contractually obligated to dock Gold Cross if necessary, have any recollection of Gold Cross being penalized.

Pounds said his dispatchers decide the priority of the call based on national standards.

“That’s something that should be defined in the contract,” James said. “I would think every call which the fire department sends out first-responders would be a Priority 1 call.”

Gold Cross is required to send a report to James 15 business days after the end of each calendar month documenting every “request for 911 ambulance service,” and what priority Gold Cross assigned it. Within that report, Gold Cross can request a response time exemption for tardiness. The request is reviewed by James and the medical program director, Dr. Phillip L. Coule with Medical College of Georgia Hospital, to determine whether the exemption will be granted.

Russell, who told an Augusta Chronicle reporter that the contract needs to be looked at again, said he could not remember ever seeing a report. The contract also states Gold Cross must send the city administrator quarterly financial reports. Russell said he did not know he was supposed to be receiving them.

Before James became chief in January, the EMS coordinator received the reports, Pounds said. Until he left to join Gold Cross in March, that person was Matt Paynter, who said in an e-mail that he did receive the reports monthly, and forwarded them to former fire Chief Howard Willis, and then to James when he became chief.

James said he had seen one from Paynter from Decem­ber when he was interim chief but didn’t receive reports after that until he requested them from Gold Cross officials. He received reports for February through April in May. He said he has been unable to find any other previous reports.

A JUNE INCIDENT highlights the concerns James said he has with Gold Cross’ accountability.

On June 11, James received an e-mail from a firefighter to his battalion chief saying the fire department’s ambulance, Rescue 1, had been called off a 911 call by Gold Cross for a 75-year-old woman having chest pains. Rescue 1 continued to the home anyway – a policy James instituted after firefighters complained Gold Cross had called them off, but who then discovered the Gold Cross ambulance had not arrived.

The firefighters started to treat the woman. Four minutes later, a Gold Cross ambulance arrived.

James tried to get more information from Gold Cross about the call, including the dispatch time, the priority given to the call and where the ambulance was responding from, but he has yet to get a response.

When reached about the incident, Pounds said the issue had been resolved.

“We dealt with that issue internally,” Pounds said. “That dispatcher was disciplined.”

He did not say how.

“We still responded to that call in eight minutes,” Pounds said.

BEFORE GOLD CROSS took over the county’s ambulance service, emergency calls were dispatched by Augusta’s 911 center, which dispatches Richmond County sheriff’s deputies and the fire department. James said he would like to return to that, given that 911 sends out first-responders to calls. Currently, Gold Cross has its own dispatch center, which also dispatches calls to Columbia and Jefferson counties.

Pounds disagrees with James about letting 911 dispatch his ambulances.

“I’m much better at it,” Pounds said. “We need to have control. They have enough trouble controlling what they’re doing.”

James said he is not trying to end Gold Cross’ agreement with Augusta, or have the fire department take over the service. However, he said the contract has to be amended for him to do his job as the contract administrator.

“If someone dies or something happens because of the missing elements in this contract, that will come back on me,” he said.

Comments (34) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
curly123053
4011
Points
curly123053 07/21/12 - 06:18 pm
5
0
Dump The Private EMS Services For 9-1-1

Personally, in my dealings with Gold Cross, I think Richmond County needs to not just take over the 9-1-1 dispatching, but let the fire department take over all 9-1-1 ambulance calls. Fire departments across the nation run the EMS systems in their jurisdictions, there is no reason why RCFD cannot do the same.
A private ambulance service can say all day long that they will give an area priority at 9-1-1 calls, but their bottom line is making money over service.
I used to work for Rural Metro, which is a private EMS service, and I know their bottom line is profits. I was working on a 9-1-1 truck once and we got called to handle a non-emergent transport from a private residence to a doctor's office. No other 9-1-1 EMS trucks were available at the time. A stroke call came in to a nearby nursing home and there were no nearby units to take the call. I was frustrated that our stretcher was tied up on a doctor's office visit and we were unable to respond. That call eventually got answered with a delay.
When I questioned a supervisor about the decision to use a "dedicated" 9-1-1 ambulance for a non-emergent transport I was told that those non-emergent calls pay the bills for the service more than the 9-1-1.
That is the attitude of a private ambulance service providing 9-1-1 to a county or community.
Richmond County needs to operate it's own 9-1-1 EMS service to provide the best service to it's citizens. Gold Cross is always going to say what the Commision wants to hear to keep the service here, but always know that they believe the non-emergent ambualnce runs pay the bills over the 9-1-1 runs.

texsmoke
139
Points
texsmoke 07/21/12 - 10:09 pm
0
8
wow

Is this a way for James to deflect the fact the fire department is constantly late for calls since the collapse of the station. How bout you teach your firefighters how to drive without collapsing a building before you move on to your next agenda.

travisp73
53
Points
travisp73 07/21/12 - 10:33 pm
7
1
Ok smoke.....

Ill bite. When has a the fire dept been "late" to a call? Define late if you will. Then show us the documentation that supports your claim. If you cant, then kindly hush your face.

HighSociety
1840
Points
HighSociety 07/21/12 - 11:02 pm
5
0
I think they (FD) should run

I think they (FD) should run it. And all 911 calls should fall under the 911 center.

Little Lamb
43350
Points
Little Lamb 07/22/12 - 12:54 am
5
0
Headline

The headline reads:

Richmond County fire chief wants Gold Cross EMS contract to be reworked

Well, get in line behind those who want the Marriott parking deck contract reworked and the TEE Center management contract reworked. It is Fred (What, me worry?) Russell who really needs to be reworked.

augustamedic
9
Points
augustamedic 07/22/12 - 12:55 am
4
2
Ok, so here we go again. The

Ok, so here we go again. The fire department is having issues, and they decide to do something to shift the focus. As usual they have once again chosen the local EMS provider.
“Before Gold Cross took over the county’s ambulance service, emergency calls were dispatched by Augusta’s 911 center” – wrong! Prior to GC, Rural Metro had the county contract and they maintained their own dispatch center at their office on West Wheeler Rd. calls were transferred to them as they are now to GC. Prior to RM, the contract was held by University Hospital Ambulance Service, they maintained a dispatcher in the 911 center. When, RM took over, they had to have their own center due to the county not allowing a “private service” to work in the 911 center. I am in total agreement to have all public service agencies dispatched from one location, but each agency needs their own employees dispatching.
My concern here is, once again, fire administration is creating a wedge between fire and ems. Both groups are well needed and must be able to function well together. But, with rock throwing like this, I wonder who’s glass house is going to crack and crumble first, my money is on the one casting stones.
So, fire chief, paramedic (instead of paramedic, it should say promotion) James, it is clear you are really not worried about the men and women directly under you, or the citizens of the county, but as always you are looking out for yourself “….this will come back on me” Chief, if you can’t take the heat, then maybe you are in the wrong position, again.

texsmoke
139
Points
texsmoke 07/22/12 - 04:35 am
2
2
@travisp

I dont't have any documentation. I am strictly basing my comment off of James interview about the apartment fire where he himself admitted response delays. I have only heard good thing about Gold Cross and all the Columbia County FD's. Can't say the same about Augusta fire.

rmwhitley
5506
Points
rmwhitley 07/22/12 - 10:02 am
0
0
Richmond county
Unpublished

is chock full of "cowBOYS" with guns. Look at First Friday. The demographics will show a predominantly black county (Richmond). The majority of shootings and stabbings happen in that community. Columbia county has no such complaint with Gold Cross Ambulance service due to what? Demographics. With all due respect to Mr. James, I think Richmond county has a mini-obama as fire chief preaching to the "choir".

texsmoke
139
Points
texsmoke 07/22/12 - 10:04 am
0
1
dont understand people

First I didn't say my friend had been with Augusta Fire that long. I said in the service. And what company has the exact same contract with everyone they work with. Chief James he can't verify the number of ambulances. If I remember correctly I went and had lunch at Eng Co 18 and their was a Gold Cross crew their. Whichever is on Windsor Spring. Also doesn't Augusta Fire do their clinicals with Gold Cross. My friend had a list on his fridge of where all of their stations are located when he was riding with them. Shouldn't that tell him where the ambulances are. No need to argue this. Im not talking bad about Augusta fire because they are great people.

TCB22
596
Points
TCB22 07/22/12 - 10:23 am
1
0
What?

Nobody read the contract BEFORE it was approved and signed by the city commissioners? Why does this not surprise me. You have the contract that you agreed to. Is it fair to try to bash Gold Cross in the media because you signed an agreement that you don't agree with? I pray for Augusta every day.

gadawg1968
4
Points
gadawg1968 07/22/12 - 10:52 am
0
1
Honestly, if people would

Honestly, if people would call an ambulance for true "emergencies" instead someonebeing lazy or just plain sorry, that would help. The chief wants to take over the contract. Oh the reports? Who does Gold Cross send them to? Matt Paynter is gone. Maybe the chief needs to look at his "Ems director". It takes time to determine the priority of a call. There's no "cookie cutter" way of saying this call is a one, this is a 2 etc...a fall is a pro 3 call, but if she has a fracture it goes pro 2. How do the dispatchers determine that? Trained medical personell which Gold Cross has. Not Richmond County 911. The dispatchers can only go by what the caller says. Times have been your dispatched on a chest pain and its a fall. Calls to Doctors offices for a breathing problem? They are at a DOCTOR. hello? You can't fix stupid. As far as I know Gold Cross does live up to the contract and to my knowledge no one has ever died because an ambulance was late. The chief is mad because he dosent have his stupid untrained fingers in it. This is just the first of several hand that are coming down the pike to try and get the contract. Does RCFD have the ambulances to do the contract? NO does RCFD have enough paramedics and EMTs to do the contract? NO. Gold Cross has to not only take calls to save peoples lives, but they also have to transport the homeless man who walked 20 miles in 100 degree heat that decided to call 911 because his legs hurt. Really? Meanwhile a real emergency is going on across town but guess what, Gold Cross does it. Without taxes going up.

betcha2
42
Points
betcha2 07/22/12 - 10:59 am
1
0
I see a few problems here: 1)

I see a few problems here: 1) Why wouldn't anyone "liable" for presenting and/or the signing of a contract KNOW what IS or IS NOT in the contract? 2) Why wouldn't the City secure the best (thorough) contract, especially when it involves $1.3 Million in the cost to its citizens (not to mention private payments the company receives)? 3) Why are required reports not turned in so performance of a contract can be monitored? Isn't this a breach of the contract, giving way to renegotiate the contact? 4) Why would we want any other department dispensing calls that officially 911 does for the county? Is this not the same as a department monitoring itself? What happened to government oversight here? 5) Why bash someone who is charged with monitoring the contract and finding its flawed areas when it's their responsibility (newly positioned or not)? Does this mean no one cared before? Sounds like we have the right person in the right position to make a difference in Augusta services. What if this was your child, parent, grandparent,or spouse? Waiting 6 minutes for a call to be dispatched is absurbed and life threatening! How DARE an ambulance service turn back a first responder, especially when they arrive on the scene first. BY THE WAY Promotions are NEITHER black or white, or yellow or any other color or gender (only in small minded persons); promotions are and should be best qualified. PERIOD. Just because you or someone you know wasn't chosen DOESN'T mean the best qualified wasn't selected for the job.

Unbelievable
81
Points
Unbelievable 07/22/12 - 11:22 am
0
1
Chief James, really.

Every 911 service ambulance in Richmond County that Goldcross provides has at least one Paramedic on board. Which makes them all ALS trucks. James needs to keep his own house in order. He has quality employees, like Matt Paynter, leaving the fire service. I think over 30 have left since he became chief.

waterman1
4
Points
waterman1 07/22/12 - 11:29 am
0
1
Oh really?

So, Chief James doesn't want to take control of EMS? Have a look at his 5 year plan submitted with his resume. It clearly states his intentions. Tell ya what, Chief. Buy yourself about 10 operational ambulances, hire around 75 paramedics and EMT's to man these units, hire a billing and collections department, Promote supervisiors to oversee the day to day operation of your EMS department and see what the taxpayers bill comes to. Got an extra 6 to 7 million dollars laying around, just to open the doors? Yeah, didn't think so. Oh, and good luck asking the taxpayer to foot the bill. I have no idea what the local EMS provider charges the county, but if you'll look into it, it will look like a gift.

shelby547
213
Points
shelby547 07/22/12 - 01:04 pm
0
2
betcha2

The reports are turned in every single month since the inception of the contract.

cethompson
15
Points
cethompson 07/22/12 - 01:35 pm
2
1
On July 1st my son was in the

On July 1st my son was in the ER at CMC. He needed to be transferred to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. CMC contacted Gold Cross & we waited for hours for an ambulance. CMC contaced the flight team after hours of waiting & they were there within minutes! They had to turn around 7 mins out of Augusta because of bad weather. When we returned to CMC Gold Cross still wasn't there. We were admitted to CMC PICU for the night.....CHOA's flight team flew in to get us on July 2nd. We were told that Gold Cross didn't have an ambulance available to get us.....I felt like Gold Cross didn't have enough ambulances.....We were stabilized and in a hospital, but what if we would have been at home & needed an ambulance? This isn't the first time that we have had issues with Gold Cross transporting us!! Makes you feel a little uneasy!! Hope something can be done!

Sweet son
9526
Points
Sweet son 07/22/12 - 02:10 pm
0
0
Undertones!

Some of the comments have possible racial undertones in them and the rest of you have thought it but just weren't bold enough to say it. I didn't want to but isn't that what always happens when we are dealing with any issues within the great State of Richmond. It is a shame but it is the same anywhere you look. I read several publications daily and those cities struggle with the same problems. Gold Cross does seem to provide a good service to the community and if a paper work adjustment will fix the chief's concerns then just give him what he wants. With all emergency response agencies there will be times that the appropriate unit is not immediately available but most agencies quickly adjust and send the closest or next available within a timely manner. Enough said. I'm through!

itsanotherday1
39221
Points
itsanotherday1 07/22/12 - 02:13 pm
1
0
This is too serious to be

This is too serious to be politicized. I don't live in RC, so don't have a dog in this hunt; but from where I'm sitting it sounds like the chief has a case to be made about accountability oversight.

shelby547
213
Points
shelby547 07/22/12 - 02:28 pm
0
0
itsanotherday

The chief gets his reports. If he says he cant find the old ones get his IT to check Willis email. Im sure the department wouldn't just delete his emails. Or why not ssk gold cross to forward all old emails with reports. Those are items I coulfnt see many companies deleting

shelby547
213
Points
shelby547 07/22/12 - 02:35 pm
0
0
cethompson

You are talking about a non emergent grneral transpot call that has nothing to do with the contract. Any ambulance service could have taken him. General transports are normally scheduled days in advance. Ask any local service you cant always get immediate assidtance if it is not a 911 call

augustamedic
9
Points
augustamedic 07/22/12 - 02:43 pm
0
0
Cethompson, first and

Cethompson, first and foremost, I hope your son is better now than he was on July 1. It sounds like you were actually lucky to be where you were, the Children’s Medical Center.
So, your comment has a few holes in it that need to be filled. You do not state why you had to wait for a GC unit; you merely try to make a point that you had to wait for an ambulance. I certainly have no idea why you had to wait but there are certainly a few reason’s as to why you may have. Were all of the units on calls? Did your son need a critical care unit, and if so was it already being used? Was a unit on the way to transfer your child from one hospital to another, and they got diverted to a 911 call, maybe? If so, don’t see a problem with it, you were in a hospital with Doctors, Nurses, Specialist, and an entire medical staff. So, a flight team was contacted, which one? Doesn’t matter, they couldn’t get you to Atlanta either, due to weather conditions. Sounds like they made the right choice and returned to the hospital, maybe the bad weather had something to do with GC units not being available to transfer a patient from one hospital to another. Seems like you are a little blind when it comes to the safety of your child, because if the weather is bad enough to not fly it may also be bad enough to not transfer a critical patient by ground unit from one hospital to another either. Maybe, they were all doing what they are supposed to do, respond to 911 calls. So, you state GC didn’t have enough ambulances, for a transfer, but you do not mention any other local non-emergency ambulance service being called or their status, you only mention GC, why? You ask what if you had been at home and needed an ambulance. Well, that’s simple, you would have gotten one. What you fail to see here is there is a difference between transferring a patient who is in a hospital with a complete staff to another hospital, and responding to a 911 call. The priority is the 911 call not the transfer.

waterman1
4
Points
waterman1 07/22/12 - 03:31 pm
0
0
No Kidding?

Until the real problem with EMS is adressed, there will never be enough ambulances. Take a ride down to your local emergency room. Have a look out back where the ambulances are parked. Take a look at the people getting taxi rides. When you see one of your local medics trying to have a bite to eat between calls, ask them how many true emergencies they respond to. Ask them how many "sick" people they haul up and down the road, because they don't feel good. The real problem exsists because of abuse of the system. When people (taxpayers) get tired of this abuse, maybe something will be done. The Med unit you called because your wife or husband is having Heart attack, will probably be occupied by an ablebodied 20 year old that has a tummyache. Curb the abuse, you'll need far fewer ambulances.

gadawg1968
4
Points
gadawg1968 07/22/12 - 08:06 pm
0
0
Waterman AMEN, Augustamedic

Waterman AMEN, Augustamedic AMEN

itsanotherday1
39221
Points
itsanotherday1 07/22/12 - 08:40 pm
1
0
Shelby, it sounds as if there

Shelby, it sounds as if there are contractual things omitted that would solve the problem if revised. That is what the article is about and primarily what the fire chief is pushing for. Everything else in this entire commentary is just peripheral. This is from someone commenting as a disinterested observer.

itsanotherday1
39221
Points
itsanotherday1 07/22/12 - 08:51 pm
0
0
Waterman, I know what you

Waterman, I know what you mean about the abuse. I worked at Burke Co Hosp a few years back on the weekends, and it was astounding at the minor emergencies that showed up in an ambulance. Once, when we were grousing about it, an ER doc (MCG resident) chastised us saying (paraphrased): "a lot of these people don't have transportation, how do you expect them to get to the hospital?". This is the same joker that would order a lot of diagnostic tests in the middle of the night under the excuse that these folks didn't see a doctor regularly and it was his duty to give them a thorough going over as long as they were there.

As far as transportation goes, they always managed to have a ride home. I never saw but one person leave on foot after arriving by ambulance, and he left AMA with a gash in his head from a car jack post.

betcha2
42
Points
betcha2 07/22/12 - 10:34 pm
0
1
The bottom line is let the

The bottom line is let the fire chief who is responsible for oversight of the contract do his job. Reports have not been received by the proper parties if GC is sending them to the previous employees (Willis or Paynter)....and old reports are not the same as new reports. All citizens should see the problem when terms of the contract are not being fullfillled; or for that matter, angry when upper management recommeding the contract does not even know the terms of the contract! When a contract is not fullfilled, flawed in areas of detailed commitment, the contract needs to be re-evaluated for the sake of all citizens. The matter can determine life and death of someone...someone you love, a member of your family. If the new chief is making a difference where he finds problems and trying to correct the problems, praise him and support his ernest work for a better service for our county. At least he is not sitting by doing nothing just to apease individuals in powerful places but addresses the issues at hand. I appauld the chief for standing up and speaking to issues to better our community.

BilboBaggins
2
Points
BilboBaggins 07/23/12 - 09:08 am
0
0
The truth

Gold Cross runs 10 ambulances in Richmond County between the hours of 10am-6pm. 9 Ambulances from 9am-10am and 6pm-10pm. There are two day time ambulances that have staggering start times. One of these day time ambulances is not "Obligated" to richmond county and also runs calls in columbia county. After 10pm there are 8 ambulances in richmond county. Gold Cross runs ambulance in Jefferson County, Richmond County and Columbia county and also has its own General transport service that does hospital to hospital, dialysis, MD appoinment transfers. A lot of the times these Richmond County ambulances are pulled off of richmond county to run general transport calls when the companies general transport department gets busy. Also the richmond county trucks will be pulled from richmond county to post in columbia county if they are low on trucks. At times this leaves only a couple of ambulances in richmond county and those couple are easily depleted due to the high call volume of Richmond County. So as to how many ambulances are "dedicated" to richmond county?? I guess that would depend on if the general transport department needs them or columbia county is out of trucks...then I would say what ever is left over.

Misty Mercer
3
Points
Misty Mercer 07/23/12 - 09:52 am
1
0
Really

I've worked for both private and county based services, there's really no difference in the performance. it's just one gets upset when they don't get their way then the blame is on. Let's think about this from a tax payer of this county, why can' that ambulance get to me on time, may be due to there's 5 calls out there that the person dialed "911" because someone fell and needs help up. does that really need the ambulance or does it need that fire truck that has sit in station for hours on end, just to go a couple of miles down the road and pick up that pt, then those ambulances may be where they need to be on time. Aren't as both fire and ems we should work together on each and every call, not matter what the call is, why should so many firemen be complaining of having to so call "chase the ambulance", why can't the fire department come to help the citzens that are too large to be handled by just two people. aren't they getting paid by tax payers too. and the way we are dispatched, really, at least our dispatchers are trained. you have to look into the real probem of the caller instead of someone screamig "OMG, she vomitting and she can't breath", lets think about this one for a minute, can you breath when you vomit, no or else you would have vomit in your lungs, but taking the time to talk with the caller may end up being someone with just the virsus. that might be why I hear so many firemen complaining on the call, because the "911 dispatcher" got it as OMG, not breathing, dispatched fire, then remembers to send it to gold cross dispatch where more info is gathered. so when we all arrive on scene one P-2 and one p-3, might be the way the call was intrupted, and of course there is attitude from the fire side of why they got it that way, or why they got it at all, not my fault. and as far as getting to the scene on time, let me tell you, the camera is on, as a gold cross employee i have been throw and abide by our driving policies. does richmond county have driving policies, accidents are just that, but as i headed out Hwy 1, a big red fire rescue 1 comes screaming by, when i say screaming, there was no consideration for the traffic ahead of it, doing way more than the state regulation of 10 mph over, an cutting in and out of traffic from the far left to the far right side of the road, (3-lanes), has anyone every read the driver edu book, it cleary states "yeild to the right for emergency vech's", well when that fire truck is running in the far right lane, and that rescue 1 is all over the road with no regard to others, then when the ambulance is running to a call, and traffic just refuses to move to the right, just stops in front of us, what can we say, they've been taught by the county fire department on how to react. and as far as enough ALS trucks in the county, let's think how many times or how long that rescue truck has been out of service for lack of staffing, at least these paramedics and emts have been practicing our skills on a regular basis, so who would i rather have, those who practice their skills regulary or those with the skills who sit on them for yrs and hate to use them, Yes, I did say hate to use, and those of you know who you are.
I pay taxes in this county, I work in Ems, I work with a lot of firemen, I enjoy those that I have come to work with on a regular basis, and yes i understand some of their complaints but at the same time, guys this is my job, my paycheck, and i work hard to keep it. It's better than being without one, if you didn't first respond, go with ems, what would your call volume be, would this county really need 19 fire stations and all the employees it is hiring.

janetp
8
Points
janetp 07/24/12 - 08:53 am
0
0
can't believe

Can't believe I just stumbled over this article. I just happened to read the corrections this morning so I did a search and saw this. Well, hats off to Chris James. Any of you who think he doesn't have a hidden agenda were just proved wrong. He told a reporter a lie about times because the 911 center, which HE wants to run EMS dispatch, records times in a different manner that do not coincide with each other. That means any report he is giving to the commision is false. This needs to be investigated. Now come to find out Gold Cross was actually en route to the call in less than a minute instead of holding the call for six minutes like he said. The retraction is on the second page in very fine print. So my question is simple. Why did James go to a reporter about this and not discuss this call with Gold Cross. It appears that he has now admitted the 911 center isn't capable of handling their own times correctly. This isn't about the contract. Don't kid yourselves people. This is one man's greedy power hungry agenda and he was just caught red handed falsifying information. Oh and by the way, at 8:05 am this morning on Robert C Daniel Parkway I pulled to the right like I am supposed to and my car still vibrated from the big red fire engine with a 9 on the front. Speed limit 35, guess from someone who has been driving over 30 years they were going 70mph. They are going to kill someone. I am probably off though with my time. Since they can't record their times right it was probably 8:11 or something like that on their records.

travisp73
53
Points
travisp73 07/24/12 - 06:48 pm
0
0
Wow

If only the Fire Dept hated its citizens like the citizens hate the Fire dept.....

Back to Top

Top headlines

3 top picks to replace Russell named

Janice Allen Jackson, Stephen Layson and Oscar Rodriguez are Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver's top picks to replace Fred Russell as city administrator.
Loading...