Privatization of Oldham County EMS

Privatization of Oldham County EMS

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Since: Nov 11

Louisville, KY

#1 Nov 6, 2011
There have been multiple rumors floating around that privatization may be in the near future for Oldham County EMS. EMS employees have been dealing with a lot of ups and downs lately with the loss of 2 directors, hazardous duty retirement, and 24 hour shifts but it doesn't stop there. Employees are now concerned that they may not be working for the tax payers for very much longer.

Rumor is that Oldham County Judge Executives have met with the private ambulance service Rural Metro. While this may not seem like a big deal it could affect the current employees and the citizens alike. With the possibility of Rural Metro taking over the people of Oldham County could expect that response times be increased and patient care decreased. Rural Metro's services a purpose throughout Louisville transporting patients to and from nursing homes, dialysis, and Dr. Appointments. Do they have the experience to handle a 911 call when your child, mother, father, or spouse lays in the floor unconscious?
For any EMS agency to come into a county they have to have a certificate of need. Rural Metro and Yellow Ambulance already possess a certificate. The Certificate rules are that there must be Advanced Life Support within 30 minutes of the county in which they are working out of. This means that a truck stationed as far away as Baptist East could be responding to a run in Goshen or Lagrange. How long are you willing to wait for help? Also as in any profession the skills you have learned years ago are lost if not used on a regular basis. How many dialysis runs require skills to handle a heart attack, diabetic emergency, mass casualty, or multi vehicle accident that happens on Oldham County Highways a couple times a month. Can that person involved in a accident on I-71 stand to wait 45 minutes with traffic?

This is just a rumor though right? As a citizen you have the right to be informed on plans and possibilities and should have the say in where your tax money is spent. Many people have lived in Oldham County for years and are vested in the growth and development of Oldham County EMS. Your tax dollars have made Oldham County one of the best EMS services in the state, one that other counties strive to be like. Do you really want to see all that money and years of hard work be turned over to a incompetent company? I am not saying that everyone at Rural Metro is incompetent but why would someone work for a private company if they could go work for a company that would utilize the skills and education they have received? We aren't a drive through service, we can't afford to make a mistake. All the employees at Oldham County EMS are competent in their skill and care about their patients "Your Family". We don't need to know you to know your important to someone and try to treat every patient like they are part of our family not just another call or run number. We enjoy our jobs, we take time away from our families and work multiple jobs to help strangers in need and you need to be able to trust that we are going to be thre to help you when you need us.

You have the right to be informed, while this is just a rumor at this time, as a citizen and medical professional I think it's one you can't afford not to look into. What else does Mr. Vogel have in store for the county and why change a system that has worked and worked well for many years. Is this risk worth someone’s life?

United States

#2 Nov 6, 2011
speaking of rumors, i have been hearing that kentucky state police and Mr. vogel may be looking into and transfering all of oldham county emergency and non emergency calls to KSP post 5. post 5 already has the ability to dispatch all police fire and ems for the county. also from a response stand point, dispatch would have to trasnfer all ems calls to a Rual metro dispatch center. all of this making that 30 min ALS time even greater. i really hope this story gets into some from of media so that the public who this most directly effects will know what it happening.

United States

#3 Nov 6, 2011
As we all know the Judge Excecutive David Voegele makes decisions due to him being an Elected Official. Is he making the right decisions for the people/tax payers of Oldham County? In my eyes he is going about everything wrong. His campaign signs stated "Oldham County Our Quality of life... IT'S NOT FOR SALE" What does this mean? I see this as he will NOT sell Oldham County people out no matter what. As the Judge does everything in his power to save money, he stated " all expenses large and small will be continuously scrutinized for cost saving opportunities" Really? He has went atfer the Fire Departments, EMS and the 911 center of Oldham County... You can NOT start cutting EMERGNCY SEVICES and try to revamp something that has worked for years, just perfect. These problems have not gottn out to the people of Oldham County maybe media is the way to go. Voegele stated " my promise is to manage your dollars as closely as i manage my own" If this is the case why was his campaign so "LEAN" Maybe he did not have enough money saved to run for Judge Executive or he just does NOT know who to manage his money.... If the Judge is trying to cut spending in areas why do we have all the pretty bill boards thoughout the county saying " you tax dollars at work " ya our tax dollars are at work paying for all those boards. How much are they? About $300 each. That is a lot of unnecessary spending if you ask me. I wonder if it's the same sign company that made his campaign signs?? All these rumors are going around but what if these rumors are true, should the public have a saying in this before they start looking into it. The people of Oldham County are the ones that will pay for his mistakes.

Tishomingo, MS

#4 Nov 7, 2011
I have an idea!!!! Hire Ron Wilder back to run EMS, hire Todd Early to do training, forget about privatization, and set back about the business of having a truly progressive EMS service!
William 77 is absolutely correct about what privatization means to your community. Selling your emergency services out to the lowest bidder is a sloppy, dangerous, poorly thought out prospect that places lives and property in jeopardy.
Remember...You may not need the police, or EMS right this minute, but when you do, you expect the best, right? Privatize, and I promise...You will get what you pay for...Hit or miss emergency care driven by the almighty dollar...Mr. Vogle, You need to pull your head out, educate yourself, and give your constituents an EMS service they depend on, and be proud of.
what a mess

Louisville, KY

#5 Nov 7, 2011
Another rumor is that once the judge is don't liquidating EMS his next project is getting rid of the county police and putting all the law enforcement duties on the sheriff's department there are many days were the number of officers on the road is very slim. Another question that needs to be answered is why the judge is paying one of his friends over $100,000 a year to be the "interim" director at EMS, this friend has zero experience in any type of emergency services, only business experience. Emergency services of any type is completely different than any other type of buisness, this make the director the highest paid EMS director in the state and he has absolutely no certifications, not even CPR or Basic first aid. If EMS is in such a financial crisis how can we afford to pay someone that kind of money and him not have a clue what he is doing. I guess it really doesn't matter since he is not running the service, he along with board member Stan Clark are simply Voegeles puppets. All need to attend the Oldham Co EMS board meeting on Monday Nov. 14 2011 at 5:30 at the courthouse in the fiscal court room, your safety and security depends on it.
Kathy McDonald

Louisville, KY

#6 Nov 7, 2011
I spent over 26 years billing for EMS. The last seven years at OCEMS. In that short amount of time I watched OCEMS fall from a highly respected and thriving ambulance service to a joke. What changed ? Not the service, not the incredibly talented and devoted employees and not the citizens of Oldham County. The fall and demise of OCEMS is directly attributed to Judge Voegele and his back door politics. It was obvious from the beginning of his term that OCEMS was his target. He has (with the help of his few select friends) managed to steal the OCEMS taxing district right out from under the noses of the public. Unless and until he is removed from office Oldham County will never be able to recover from the damages he has caused. It is a complete shame and a disgrace. I wish the best for the employees, thier families and the residents of the County. Whatever is done in the dark eventually comes to light...... I for one, pray it is sooner than later !

Herndon, VA

#7 Nov 7, 2011
These rumors are disturbing. I work for R/M EMS and have many many years of experience with 911 through another service. I'm also a citizen of Oldham and I'm very upset to hear of privatization. I CAN say that these rumors are not happening at Rural Metro. We have not heard anything regarding coming into Oldham Co. I will not speak badly of the service I work for because Oldham and Rural Metro both have caring and compassionate emergency professionals but I will say I'm not happy about what would not could happen to response times as well as the loyal employees at OCEMS that have stood by a service while it has endured hardships beyond what most could and have continued to provide the highest quality of patient care to their ability. The ones that haven't run from the issues surrounding OCEMS over the past few years have the dedication to their patients and community that I want working on me and my family when I need them. I appreciate everything from the service and don't want to see the OCEMS go anywhere but up from here and thank God for them all. OCEMS employees please don't give up and continue to do your all... I don't wanna see you leave.

Louisville, KY

#8 Nov 8, 2011
Rural metro attempted to come into our county where i work for EMS, and our commisioners listened to our concerns (both employees and citizens) and as a result, our service stayed with the county and rural metro was turned down. I was a rural metro employee for 5 years and can tell you first hand their primary concern is the almighty dollar. They will have no problems sending all of your trucks on other transfers, leaving no 911 coverage for the county. Ive seen it time and time again.

Go to your commisioners, and the judge executive. Make it so your voices cant be ignored. And if that doesnt work, go above him. Everyone has a boss.
Just sayin

Monee, IL

#9 Nov 8, 2011
Stirring the pot
fedup taxpayer

Louisville, KY

#10 Nov 8, 2011
Can't go to the County Judge he is the ring leader wanting all this so he can raise the EMS tax to pocket the money for something else. If you think Washington D.C is corrupt come to Oldham CO, meet the Judge and his stooges. The County Attorney is friends with the Judge so he is no help. Can't trust anyone. There are many times the entire county is covered by only 2 Medics to administer Advance Life support. This is unacceptable to me and my family, friends, nut just like all good politicians they lie to make it sound better than it really is. I cannot believe there is no justice or person to turn to so they can know there roll.

Lexington, KY

#11 Nov 8, 2011
This may be a good forum to list the "not truths" the county gov would like the citizens to believe about OCEMS, the Oldham Era has been given much of this information but will not investigate or print the stories, does that seem right????
1. the $400,000 of funds that are "possibly missing" from ems
2. no more ambulances in LaGrange, unlike the two ambulances which were promised and covered by the media, because they can not sit outside unless the temp is above 50 degrees
3. the former director, Stuart Crawford, being investigated again by the Ky Board of EMS for patient care issues, the Oldham Era refuses to print this story.
4. current director with NO ems experience but a friend of a board member making $2000/wk to run ems, does anyone know an ems director making that much in the Kentucky?
5. the loss of half of the finished square footage of a building purchased with cash in Crestwood, how much did it cost to fix the fire marshall's list of problems? did the county do the work and was it paid for with county tax dollars???
6. how many people have jobs in county gov or ems because they "had something" on the judge or threatened to sue??
7. the "sex scandal" at ems went to a jury trial where no present or past employees were found quilty, however ems is still accused of sexual misconduct by the county leader and his team

Please feel free to add to the list..... the citizens of Oldham County deserve the truth. OCEMS has operated sufficiently for years by collecting less than half the percentage it is allowed to collect from taxes. Why are they now "broke"?? I bet you will see the 04 cents quickly jump to 10 cents unless this fiasco is stopped. Support your local EMS!
Raise The Jolly Roger

Louisville, KY

#12 Nov 9, 2011
I might also add that when Voegele placed Stuart Crawford as interim director of OCEMS, there was a large outflow of cash on the following items:

1) New building in Crestwood (paid for in cash)
2) New ambulance (paid for in cash)
3) Remount old ambulance (paid for in cash)

OCEMS wasn't broke because several hundred thousand dollars in cash were spent on the above items. These were unnecessary purchases to begin with, as South Oldham Fire Department has been kind enough to allow an ambulance to be stationed at their spacious fire house for some time now. There has always been an ambulance stationed in Crestwood and Stan Clark didn't need to spend over $100k on a building to provide an EMS presence in the area.

I need not go on about how Jim Carman is the highest paid EMS director in the state, but I will add that the man has absolutely no clue about EMS. He recently asked an employee what the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic was. He also suggested that EMS stock EITHER non-rebreather masks OR nasal cannulas, but not both. KBEMS requires that both be stocked on an ambulance, and anyone with EMS experience would know that they serve two different purposes; but Jim doesn't understand these things. Jim Carman is also considering shutting down the CPR training center at OCEMS. This valuable resource provides low cost CPR training to its employees, the county fire and police departments, Baptist Hospital Northeast, and countless citizens of Oldham and surrounding counties. Shutting down this center would put even more lives at risk.

As for Stuart Crawford, his master plan that he force-fed down everyones throat about making all ALS ambulances, getting rid of fly cars, and making OCEMS your primary place of employment apparently didn't suit him very well. He more or less demanded that he be given a fly car position on days of his choosing (despite the fact that there were multiple full time paramedic shifts open.) It shouldn't be any surprise that a shift was created for him and his demands. It also shouldn't be any surprise that he sits around doing as little work as possible.

My .02 cents on privatization is that many don't realize that in order for this to happen, a vote would have to be made to abolish the ambulance taxing district in the general election held in November. Even if this did occur, the above posts are correct in their statements that coverage would be minimal and skill levels would be shody at best. Carting granny to and from dialysis every day does not give someone the skills and practice needed to make split second life or death decisions during a major medical emergency.

It's not the employees of OCEMS that need to be "fixed" or "replaced".. it's the corrupt politics that Voegele practices and his cronies Stan Clark and Jim Carman execute on his behalf.

Just my thoughts on the matter..

Have a special day!
fedup taxpayer

Louisville, KY

#13 Nov 9, 2011
That was great you deserve an applause for this. We should send this to the paper to print because I am sure all the right poeple that need and should see this won't. I would love to be in my 60's and make 100k a yr to do nothing or in other words do what another idiot wants. 100k a yr puppet.with no degree or EMS knowledge and experience.
Michelle Grider

Louisville, KY

#14 Nov 9, 2011
Speak to your magistrates and make sure they take your message to the Judge. Talking to him directly will obviously get you no where.

Louisville, KY

#15 Nov 10, 2011
I have talked to several magistrates and they are also in the Judge's pocket because they will not listen to the facts. So where to go next? Oldham Era will not tell the story and the magistrates believe everything the Judge tells them.... so now what????
Logical and calm

Eddyville, KY

#16 Nov 10, 2011
In the words of Cool Hand Luke, "What we have here is a failure to communicate". I would like to see the entire OCEMS staff sign an agreement that X number of people represent their best interests. Those X number of people then would meet with the body of OCEMS and compile their questions and concerns in a logical fashion. The next step would be to go to the County Judge Executive, the OCEMS board, and Mr. Carman to see what they could work out. If that step failed they could then proceed to any Fiscal Court meeting, present their agreement during a public comment session and ask for a committee of Magistrates to hear their case. Until the OCEMS speaks as one, presents facts, and asks logical and well thought out questions, their voice will not be heard properly. Rumor, emotion, he said - she said, and accusation are not productive communication.
Raise The Jolly Roger

Akron, OH

#17 Nov 10, 2011
Logical and Calm.. what you just described has already taken place. There was a vote among the employees and a representative committee was formed. This committee has tried to share concerns as one with Jim Carman and the board. They have made "logical and well thought out" presentations at board meetings. Their voices still fall on deaf ears..
Logical and calm

Eddyville, KY

#18 Nov 11, 2011
Raise The Jolly Roger. The bad news is that you've already done that once. The good news is that will make it easier to organize the second time. The signatures are an important part. You don't want someone coming forward after you saying that you did'nt represent them.
Just Sayin

Radcliff, KY

#19 Nov 12, 2011
Rural Metro has replaced most of their managers with ones brought in from the outside. It seams that they are gearing up for something, probably not for ramping up their dialysis business.
OC Resident

New Albany, IN

#20 Nov 12, 2011
What was once a model service is now a laughing stock of EMS. They are running 3 ambulances at night. If someone calls in, they drop to 2. Last night they ran out of trucks and had to wait for off-duty personnel to come in to make the run. Fortunately some did, but it took a while and there are no guarantees anyone will show up. The night before a paramedic had to do CPR by himself in the back of the truck because there was no backup. Where else does this happen??

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