By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
New board member Lenore “Nora” Howell was welcomed to the Ambulance Authority Board. Howell introduced herself and gave a little background information. Howell said, “I am a recent transplant to West Virginia. I have been here and living in my new house for the last two years. This area is just so wonderful and so beautiful it has been an easy transition from D.C.
Specifically with regards to be a part of this board is my personal experience with ambulance rescue and my disappointment in the failure of the levy in the past has me feel very motivated to help the Ambulance Authority in any way I can.”
Howell explained that she had a professional career in the Navy Air Systems Command and later was employed by Lockheed Martin with a background in business management. Howell is also a board member of her HOA and the Highland Market, in Davis. Howell also helps with the Master Naturalists.
During the public comment period Brian Adkins was present to express concerns regarding the recent events that occurred during a medical emergency the family experienced that prompted them to call EMS. These events left the Adkins family waiting two hours for transport from another location to take their family member to the hospital, because according to Adkins the paramedic that arrived would not respect the patient’s wishes to go to Garrett Regional Medical Center instead of Davis Memorial Hospital.
Adkins said, “You know there a lot of reasons why people ask to be taken to a certain place and my mom has had a lot of medical problems in the last eight years or so, and all of her doctors are in Garrett. That is the reason we asked for her to be taken there and before the decision is made there should be some questions that are asked.
A lot of reasons the levy did not pass is because of all these issues going on with EMS. A lot of people are up in arms. It should not be such a big deal. We have three hospitals within 39 miles of right here. (Parsons) There is 14 miles difference from DM (Davis Memorial) and Garrett.
I am not really happy with the paramedic that arrived on scene. She even bypassed a nurse practitioner on scene that instructed her that she needed to go to Garrett. The first thing that should be addressed is the health and well being of the patient.
Mom had two experiences and was misdiagnosed at DM and under no circumstances does she want to go there ever. If it was an absolute emergency, then I could see that but by the time the ambulance arrived she had been there an hour. She was in pain, but she was awake and aware of what was going on. She was under no stress except not wanting to go to DM.
We all have financial difficulties and we all need to work together. Everybody needs to work together to make this work. I hope that everything improves for every citizen not just my mother. Maybe a better relationship will help pass a levy in the future.”
Dr. P.S. Martin, Medical Director for Tucker County EMS, explained to the Authority and Adkins that the situation that occurred involving his mother has been submitted to the state for an investigation. Martin said he has advised the EMS crew to respect the patient’s wishes if they wish to go to one of three regional hospitals.
Those hospitals include Garrett Medical Center, Davis Memorial Hospital, and Broaddus Hospital. Martin explained that currently there are not enough EMS to transport out of the immediate area but if someone is requesting to go one of the three then EMS needs to do that. Martin said, “Our obligation is to the patient and in this incidence they failed. The crew in question had no intentional malice and feels horrible for the events that occurred.”
In other business of the board:
Board members have spilt up into teams to work on different subcommittees in depth on several objectives. Those subcommittees include Finance, Community Outreach/Communications, Board Administration (Bylaws review/update), Analytics (understanding the business), EMS Policy/Procedures/Employee Handbook (for review), and Inputs to County Commission regarding potential Excess Levy.
Each subcommittee will focus on their subject matter and report at each Ambulance Authority meeting. President Dennis Filler said, “In the past a lot has been put on one or two board members and the president can not hit on every function, so I am proposing subcommittees.”
EMS Co-Director Scott Kennedy reported that EMS has lost another EMT and paramedic with the possibility of losing another paramedic in the near future. Kennedy explained that left two crew members on duty each day.
The EMT and paramedic both took employment elsewhere. Kennedy stated they currently had applications for one full time and two part time crew members.
Commissioner Mike Rosenau reported to the board members that the mold inspection of Station One had been completed and the results should be back in the next couple of days. Rosenau said he would pass the results to the Authority once he receives them.
The next Ambulance Authority meeting will be held August 23, 2022, in the “Old” Tucker County Courtroom at 5:30 p.m.