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Concerns over ESA spending, choices

By Staff | Aug 16, 2013

I would like to express my concerns regarding the Jefferson County Emergency Service Agency current management: Doug Pittinger. He stated that a fee is required to meet the growing demands of Jefferson County, because the trend of people volunteering their time for emergency services is becoming nonexistent. JCESA keeps asking for more money stating that would fix the problems. Basically, if the County eliminated the management of JCESA, and the building that only four people work in, it would free up additional funds that the county could utilize.

Currently, JCESA has a program in place for mutual aid by outside county agencies. This means that other companies could assist JCESA if they were responding to other calls. Using outside agencies delays in getting services to the patient and can affect the outcome of the call. The closeness of other agencies, inside the county, offers a better solution in getting help to the patient. In addition, the fee for the would stay in the county.

Ryneal Medical Transport has requested to be able to be added at no fee to the mutual aid to the county. It is a 24 hour, seven day a week service and is located in the center of Jefferson County with nine ambulances that are staffed with BLS, ALS and ALS Critical Care. Their units are all over Jefferson County at any given time and are staffed with people that are already volunteers in the county. There training is equalto, if not more than the requirements that JCESA requires. Ryneal is providing services at the county football games , county fairs, as well as doing service with Jefferson Medical Center.

The JCESA response was No to our Ryneals proposal. They felt that it would open the door for Ryneal and other services to come in to the county. All that Ryneal would like to do is offer help when asked. Unfortunately JCESA prefers to ask for help outside the county. This makes no sense since Ryneal is located inside the county and can offer support. The JCESA said that the elimination of their service would reduce coverage during the week by 324 hours. With adding Ryneal to the mutual aid program, it would increases coverage by 672 a week.

The JCESA wants to control the countys emergency services. Since JCESA cannot control Ryneal then JCESA does not want to ask Ryneal for help. Ryneal can provide more coverage during the week, is located in the center of the county and knows the system. Ryneal is offering FREE help for the county. I know first hand how the JCESA looked at the proposal from Ryneal and JCESA management was totally against it from the start. JCESA was not willingly to entertain any solutions for help in the county. JCESA was a big influence in the outcome of the proposal being shot down .

In the end, it would make more sense to eliminate the system that JCESA has, and put people in the fire stations were they are needed. This would allow the county to monitor and develop what is needed to service the communities without the elaborate over head it has now.

Robert Shackelford