On June 15th, 2023 an employee of TC EMS was given permission from the Interim EMS Director to use the State Highway fuel fob to access and obtain fuel to put into their personal vehicle which had been used excessively that day in support of TC EMS business functions. On June 16th, the Interim EMS Director informed the TC Ambulance Authority Board President of these actions. The Board President met with both individuals early that afternoon. Outcomes from the meeting were: a) clarification that neither the fobs, fuel cards or other access controls would be used to obtain fuel from state or commercial entries for any use in a personally owned vehicle (POV). b) the appropriate mechanism to be used when POVs are used to conduct EMS business, is to submit mileage reimbursement at the present rate of 65.5 cents per mile or the current rate as published by the IRS for repayment in their next paycheck. The TC board president counseled the EMS Director regarding the proper use and access of EMS vehicles to WV State fuel sources and has directed that the guidelines be posted at each station for review by all EMS personnel.
As the TC Ambulance Authority Board president, it is my determination that there was no intent to defraud or steal from either the state or the TC Ambulance Authority by anyone involved in this incident. All employees were acting in the best interest of the citizens and residents of Tucker County albeit not in accordance with state guidelines. This was a one time occurrence. All individuals have been counseled appropriately. TC EMS is controlled by an Authority Board and legally operates as a semi-private business separate from the county government. EMS vehicle access to DOH fuel points is controlled at the state level. One board officer and the treasurer have consistently reviewed the fuel use logs before authorizing payment by TC EMS to the State of West Virginia DOH throughout this fiscal year and do so as a matter of board policy on all our payments. We have found no indication that this is a systemic issue and we are confident that this matter has been properly addressed.
All organizations do and will make errors in judgement. Good organizations however, recognize their mistakes, take accountability for those actions and fix their errors. TC EMS addressed this issue internally on June 16th and it is considered resolved.
Tucker County Ambulance Authority