Escambia EMS Director Hires A Lawyer, And He’s Telling The County Not To Talk To His Client

June 23, 2019

Escambia County’s EMS director has hired a lawyer, and he’s telling the county not to talk to her.

EMS Director Dr. Rayme Edler, M.D. has retained the The Health Law Firm of Altmonte Springs, according to a certified letter sent last week to Escambia County Attorney Alison Rogers. The firm has an office in Pensacola.

“I have the honor and privilege of representing Rayme M. Edler, M.D.,” attorney George F. Indest III wrote in his letter to the county, “…in all aspects of her dispute with Escambia County over her job performance. Please do not to attempt to contact or communicate with Dr. Edler regarding any matters, except through me.”

County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh wrote on his blog Saturday night that he learned from the county attorney that “this is very, very unusual”.

“And then to not show up at the meeting where the vote was to take place on training requested by EMS….?¬† What is up?” Bergosh wrote.

On Thursday, the Escambia County Commissioner delayed a decision on new EMS training until after a new county administrator is in place on July 1.

Last month, Edler asked the commission for an expedited purchase of training services for EMS hands-on training, but she did not attend last Thursday’s meeting.

After advertising for training services, the county only receive two bids. One proposal was from The Rescue Company 1, LLC, in the amount of $144,696.91, and the other from Emergency Educational Training Institute, Inc., in the amount of $243,250.

The Florida Department of Health is currently investigating allegations involving the possible falsification of training certificates by Escambia EMS and Public Safety. The county commission has hired attorney Ann Bittinger of Jacksonville, who specializes in health care law, to represent five county employees in the Florida DOH investigation.


16 Responses to “Escambia EMS Director Hires A Lawyer, And He’s Telling The County Not To Talk To His Client”

  1. From here on June 24th, 2019 4:11 pm

    looks like she poured gasoline and brought in a flame thrower then published it instead of just taking care of her job.

  2. Wise years on June 24th, 2019 4:08 pm

    Good to see that EVERYONE recognizes there are no lawyers worth hiring in Escambia county. Or, might there be? Naaaah.

  3. w.w. on June 24th, 2019 7:27 am

    She broke the “good ol boy” code and exposed the underlying issues….. Now they’re after her. Stay strong ma’am.

  4. Wayne on June 23rd, 2019 11:26 pm

    Pensacola is the new Century…just as inept

  5. Agreed on June 23rd, 2019 9:57 pm

    I agree with Uncle M. Dr. Edler has concerned herself with the well being of this community and has fought tooth and nail for her concerns.
    Sounds to me like she tried to warn them about huge problems with the system and some employees but, noone listened.
    Maybe they will listen now. It’s about how they care for this community…and not care so much about the All-American dollar.

  6. Chris J Paul on June 23rd, 2019 9:05 pm

    Welcome to 2019 America.
    Spare me the supposed surprise

  7. Bob on June 23rd, 2019 7:16 pm

    I thought the Town of Century was a joke…it is!!!

    Now the BOCC is either a joke or a serious crime scene?

  8. Preston Hardy on June 23rd, 2019 3:12 pm

    Every elected and appointed official in Escambia county is getting a lawyer. This happens when people do not choose honest and effective leaders. Even the good ones have to protect themselves in such a corrupt environment.

  9. Melissa Pino on June 23rd, 2019 2:12 pm

    Dr. Elder has shown herself to be an inept leader and administrator in numerous capacities.

    –The EMS department is at increasing war with each other due to her divide and conquer tactics.

    –She defended an illegal, single source procurement attempt even having been made aware of the seriousness, and then lied repeatedly about the expertise and credentials of a company staffed with Nail’s past Orlando Fire colleagues.

    –By her own admission she wildly exaggerated the certification issue to DOH.

    –She tried to coerce the commission into voting for “emergent funding” for Rescue Company 1 by asking the commissioner to sign “Against Medical Advice” forms if they cast a no vote.

    –She then admitted that it wasn’t emergency training but enhanced training, and openly ridiculed the BOCC for focusing on the certification issue, when she herself is the one who cried fire to begin with.

    –She has filed not just the general complaint with DOH, but has targeted individual staff members with complaints, as well.

    –She knowingly lied about the HIPPA paperwork situation.

    –Her response to my public records request for her emails was an email to Alison Rogers and Doug Underhill claiming that I was libelling and harrassing her.

    –She is denying training for people who are asking for it.

    –She hasn’t gotten protocols written yet (thank goodness).

    –She has been hailed as the “Queen” of EMS by staff members who proudly boast of being part of her “army.”

    -She skipped the last two meetings where a scope of work that was little more than the language from the original unsolicited bid was being discussed.

    I cannot understand why she has not yet been terminated. Or, short of that, placed on unpaid administrative leave. Until then, there will be no way to stop the EMS bleeding. It’s time to put somebody in charge who can start to heal the divide in that department.

    Melissa Pino

  10. Jacqueline on June 23rd, 2019 12:25 pm

    It is very unusual for Escambia County to lawyer up its employees, at taxpayer expense, under investigation against the Department of Health, especially when the DOH found sufficient evidence to proceed with an investigation.
    I thought they wanted an outside investigation?

    The commissioners are looking for a fall guy like the did with poor Chief Grace the last Public Safety scandal, instead of looking at the Director and Administration that knew about and was over all this mess.
    The EMS problems were here long before Dr. Edler came on board (in fact, it was why she was hired!)
    So instead of listening to her, they “support” those employees under investigation while they retaliate against good employees, and some commissioners make public statements blaming the doctor, leak confidential documents, etc. to cover their own liability.
    That is really very sad to me.
    Escambia County is worse then I thought.
    Good luck, Ms. Gilley, as we need someone to step up and lead!

  11. Denny on June 23rd, 2019 12:16 pm

    It’s a pity this relationship has become adversarial. To succeed in providing services to the citizens, they need to WORK TOGETHER!!!

  12. Jeff Torrence on June 23rd, 2019 10:07 am

    For the county attorney to say that this is “usual or unusual” just shows how incompetent they truely are. This has never happened here before so for anyone to say it’s unusual is just a down right lie. Then for A commissioner to actually repeat what was said just shows how big of a dog and pony show this county commission really is. This is literally and in every aspect, unbelievable! Just wow! – taxpayer

  13. Dave on June 23rd, 2019 6:31 am

    (The county commission has hired attorney Ann Bittinger of Jacksonville, who specializes in health care law, to represent five county employees in the Florida DOH investigation.) The county never hires or pays for litigation, the TAX PAYERS DO
    Or any other commissioner who gets sued…and wants the TAX PAYERS to pay for their attorney

  14. uncle M on June 23rd, 2019 6:27 am

    In my honest opinion, I believe the BOCC wants a puppet in their medical director. I have had to privilege of working with Dr. Edler and her only concern is for the well being of the citizens of Escambia County. These commissioners hired her to fix public safety but are fighting her every tooth and nail along the way.

  15. K on June 23rd, 2019 6:18 am

    This is the usual course of events in a legal dispute.

    For Bergosh to say that this is very unusual, simply means that Elder is ahead of him – but only by the single step of recognizing that there is a legal dispute.

    It’s the legal equivalent of “SHOTS FIRED!”

    Keep us posted on how this all works out, William.

  16. Tim D. on June 23rd, 2019 4:06 am

    She’s protecting herself in an upcoming lawsuit against the County for a wrongful death case and Bergosh, your name will be one of many as a plaintiff.

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