2013-03-30 / Editorials & Letters

‘Give us professional EMS services’

Editor:

Buckeye Lake Village elected officials care more about a crippled fire department than our public safety. We have some dedicated and capable fire department personnel. However, those in positions of authority are deceptive, untruthful, sometimes uninformed and out of touch. Management is poor at best and often irresponsibly places our village at great risk as far as safety and liability. Some recent examples...

• 1/27/13: W. 4th Street run: An eyewitness resident with a scanner reports “Captain 421 (Ruton) marked the station that he was in route to the station. Before he arrived on station the paid person marked 904 (aka 911) that squad 421 was responding. Captain 421 had not even passed my house yet, and I live right on SR 79. The squad left approx. 1 minute later than what they had informed 904 (aka 911) that they left.”

• 2/9/13: From the scene of a trailer fire on First Street, Chief Pete Leindecker calls over the radio for the thermal imager. (It’s been out of service for about two years!)

• 2/22/13: A part-time paramedic working alone (hired 9/12 but still not trained on driving medic unit) drives medic unit to a Myers Avenue home and calls for mutual aid. She’s not confident enough to drive to hospital so she asks the mutual aid responder to drive BLFD medic unit. Afterwards, she’s upset when she learns he won’t be available to drive the medic back to our village, potentially stranding her in Newark with our medic unit. Another female part-timer who is a Basic EMT/ Firefighter has been with the department for four years and is not permitted to drive the fire truck due to lack of training.

• 3/10/13: Captain David Ruton scheduled an EMT-I (advanced) to work alongside of him even though the EMT-I told Ruton he was not medically authorized to return to work until March 17 due to recent surgery and could not lift.

March 2013: A new volunteer candidate (no EMS Basic class) was recently “put on the department” according to the assistant chief and has been showing up on scene. The assistant chief didn’t know that volunteer hadn’t taken his drug test, physical or turned in his paperwork.

Safety Committee Chair Clay Carroll wants to hold a public meeting in May so officials can discuss the EMS options and get public input. We’ll probably get a well rehearsed sales pitch regarding great strides in hiring new personnel, filling the schedule, improving response times and training. Talk is cheap....actions speak louder!

Explain these actions to us: Why aren’t people trained how to drive our emergency vehicles? Why is the generator missing? Why doesn’t the air compressor work? Why are captains telling 911 they are enroute when they’re not? Why schedule an employee who has not been medically authorized to return to work? (What would this do to our Workers Comp rate?) Why doesn’t the chief know what equipment is broken and why hasn’t he arranged to get it fixed?

Give us professional EMS services! Give us Hebron! Residents are weary of all the games that are played at our expense! We elected our officials to represent us, not a boys club masquerading as a fire department.

The last fire levy failed for a reason and if we don’t get real EMS services this time around, it will fail again! Give voters credit for knowing the real thing when they see it. So far, we don’t see it!!!

Peggy Wells
Buckeye Lake

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