To the Editor:
To all Athens County residents: As a taxpaying resident of Athens County and employee of Athens County Emergency Medical Service (ACEMS), I would like to bring to your attention the massacre of our county EMS service. These issues have been ongoing since Jan. 1, 2011, the founding of ACEMS. Before this date, county EMS services were provided on contract by the SEOEMS District. SEOEMS had many issues of its own but never left residents or employees at risk. Most current ACEMS employees are prior SEOEMS employees who proudly and professionally serve the communities in which we live, but have many concerns that need to be expressed.
First and foremost, the county EMS equipment, vehicles and buildings are in various stages of despair, some even unsafe. We are serving the public with ambulances that may oIrr may not start, sirens that may or may not work, broken mirrors, some difficult to steer and constantly breaking down.
The county is stocking these vehicles with inferior, outdated and not properly functioning essential lifesaving equipment.
Paramedics are required by the state of Ohio to get 86 hours of continued education over a three-year period to maintain current certification. This is training that our county has promised it will provide employees but currently does not provide, or feel necessary to provide to its employees at this time, but still requires for employment.
Another item of concern is a medical protocol that includes procedures ordered by the county medical director, a medical doctor, but employees do not have the supplies or training to perform such lifesaving tasks.
Maintenance is currently being outsourced instead of handled by other tax-based county agencies. Building maintenance could be done by the county building maintenance crew; one station even has cracked, leaking windows, many lights out, and no sweeper to clean the carpet. Vehicle maintenance and driveway/lot snow clearing are also out-sourced and completed in an untimely manner instead of being done by our county engineer's office.
All of these concerns and many others have been brought to the attention of ACEMS supervisors and county commissioners numerous times, with little to no concern for the safety of Athens County residents or ACEMS employees.
We, as taxpaying residents and employees, are asking for your fervent assistance and support in regard to these matters. Contact your county commissioners with questions today. Please remember, we want the best for Athens County!
Dover Township resident