EMS Union Speaks Out On Escambia EMS Investigation Report

May 14, 2019

Despite initial reservations, the union represented Escambia County EMS employees says they are hopeful the findings of a special investigation will be used to “bridge the gap” between county’s first responders and the county commission.

“Our members are working diligently every day despite the public misconception of the state of the department,” International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP) Local 325 National Director Philip Petit said. “These men and women are not working under illegal certifications, they’re not breaking state law. They are highly skilled and licensed professionals who care deeply for the patients they serve every single day.”

Janice Kilgore began work on the report on April 17 and interviewed over 50 people including public safety employees, county administration and volunteer fire chiefs.  Kilgore said 8 to 10-year old policies and a lack of funding are major talking points that need to be addressed. They report also found EMS coverage problems in part of the North Escambia area [more...].

Her report said the county needs to improve coordination between fire and EMS divisions, use the workforce more effectively and improve training. There has been no medical training since October 2018, a public safety fire training facility is needed, and training needs to be more skills based and hands on.

Kilgore’s report also found a multi-year vehicle replacement program is needed, and the department’s public image needs addressing.

“The best possible outcome of this process is that Escambia County’s leaders will have a real understanding of the problems these first responders face on the job and what items can be improved to improve the service and show our members the county has their back as well,” said Petit. “These men and women answer the call during an emergency – they want to know the county has their back when they need it.”

Interim County Administrator Amy Lovoy appointed Kilgore as an ombudsman after Weaver’s resignation. She worked for the county for 36 years, moving from a clerk for the Santa Rosa Island Authority to county Emergency Preparedness head. She was named Public Safety director when the position was created in 1997.

“Our members are working diligently every day despite the public misconception of the state of the department,” International Association of EMTs and Paramedics (IAEP) Local 325 National Director Philip Petit said. “These men and women are not working under illegal certifications, they’re not breaking state law. They are highly skilled and licensed professionals who care deeply for the patients they serve every single day.”

Comments

5 Responses to “EMS Union Speaks Out On Escambia EMS Investigation Report”

  1. Kate on May 15th, 2019 3:21 pm

    Privatize, and watch employees get nothing and a few get big bucks from it. That is a republican falsehood. Look at the jails, they look great don’t they.

  2. uncle M on May 15th, 2019 6:41 am

    Private service is not the answer. Lifeguard has trouble keeping employees and their coverage is worse in Santa Rosa County then Escambia’s EMS. Like Bully said, just need quality leadership that will do their job and make sure the great EMS staff stays trained.

  3. CS on May 15th, 2019 4:50 am

    They need to let a private service take it over! Less money the county will need and they will bow to the county.

  4. Bully on May 14th, 2019 8:06 am

    The problem has never been with the rank and file of the EMS. Those in the trenches are doing their jobs well. The problem is at the leadership level ie the supervisors. They get into a position of authority and that power blinds them from the job of serving the people and the rank and file receive the abuse of that authority. Of course favoritism is shown to some not so much to others and this too is not a good quality of leadership. Culture comes from the top and until that is changed, nothing will change.

  5. SW on May 14th, 2019 3:29 am

    Why not just privatize it?





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