2012-08-25 / Editorials & Letters

It’s up to the mayor to fix EMS

Editor:

Buckeye Lake Mayor Rick Baker needs to realize that the residents and taxpayers are waiting and watching to see how he’s going to fix the fire department

We have some dedicated paid and volunteer staff. However, our fire chief has demonstrated failed leadership for many years. He’s basically M.I.A. except to pick up his $450 each month. Everyone knows it and talks about it yet he is still in charge. Within the department over the years, there have been several votes of “no confidence” in the leadership.

Assistant Chief Rod Riley is truly dedicated and appears to run behind Chief Leindecker trying to fix or compensate for the chief’s shortcomings. Captain David Ruton seems to be looking out for himself by rewriting the rules so he will be the only one able to replace the chief. Council’s safety committee chair has requested a copy but to no avail. Since the chief seems to have delegated much of the department’s management to Ruton, the captain has a lot explaining to do.

The leadership of the BLFD is playing with lives. Since volunteers, except Rod Riley, generally don’t respond to EMS runs, if our paid crews aren’t “on station,” we need to inform the 911 Center. That way, precious time is not wasted waiting to see whether someone will show up. This is a NO BRAINER!!!

If we cannot muster two card holders to fill a shift, we need not fill it at all! The current procedure of sending out one individual (usually an EMT) to the scene for assessment only delays the immediate treatment and transport available from our mutual aid responders.

Most important is the unnecessary delay in treating the patient and getting them to a hospital. The one-person night shift is a huge waste of our tax dollars It’s also inefficient and unfair to expect a solo first responder to carry all the equipment, do the assessment, deal with family members and make the right decisions without any support. Constantly sending out an undermanned piece of equipment is such poor management – it’s just unbelievable that we’ve put up with this for so long!

I understand that if our guys request mutual aid too “fast,” they catch hell from Captain David Ruton for “giving away our runs.” Really? These territorial issues should never be a consideration when someone’s health or life is at stake! If we don’t want our runs to “be given away,” then step up to the plate and get the job done right! It’s time to put patients first, not the petty empire builders.

Peggy Wells
Buckeye Lake

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