A man in a medical crisis faced a long wait to get to the hospital. Around 12:20 am, a call came into 9-1-1 for a man in pain. Dispatch alerted Valley EMS, but didn’t hear back for five minutes, so they sent another alert.
Around 12:53 am, Valley EMS requested a medic and a driver and told dispatch to contact Rosemont EMS if they didn’t hear anything. A few minutes later, Rosemount responded, and the Valley EMS driver headed to a medic’s home to pick them up.
Just before 4 am, the medics contacted dispatch to say the air ambulance wasn’t flying and they planned to drive the patient to a Columbus hospital, which would put them out of service for the evening.
SCDN Asked County Commissioners About the Issue
Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis says commissioners are well aware of the EMS personnel shortage that leaves some Scioto County residents waiting a long time for help to arrive.
While commissioners said they haven’t heard much about the problem from local townships lately, they know it’s still an issue. Davis said a lack of volunteers is a contributing factor. “People just don’t volunteer like they used to.”
Davis also said a shortage of available funds makes it hard to come up with money to offer a decent wage to EMS workers. He said the state was currently looking at solutions. “It’s very much a critical issue. One that everybody is struggling with across the state and across the nation. We have an epidemic of not enough people volunteering, and even paid squads find it hard to get people.”
***Publisher’s Note: In order to effectively address the situation, there needs to be consideration of a few known factors. First, what townships are doing good at responding to calls? What townships are struggling with response times? What measures have been taken by townships that were once struggling and have now improved?
The townships that consistently maintain the best response times are Union, Porter, Bloom, and Minford. Green has excellent response times but are bogged down by numerous calls coming from the rehabilitation centers located in Franklin Furnace. Clay has good response times, but are often called away from the township to cover other calls.
Townships like Washington and Nile were struggling. They have contracted with Portsmouth Ambulance and Ohio EMT to cover their calls. The residents of those townships have greatly benefited from this improvement.
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Empowered by these facts, it is now possible to target the problem areas and help them. Now, we can ask the right questions to the right people. How can the county best support your emergency needs? Is this assistance with funding contracts with Portsmouth Ambulance or Ohio EMT? Is this offering assistance with training for paramedics, EMT’s and Advanced EMT’s? Is this a communication and dispatch issue? Finally, how can the county provide assistance to Portsmouth Ambulance and Ohio EMT to enhance their ability to hire and maintain qualified personnel?
Incentives, tax breaks, and even housing could be offered to qualified people who wish to relocate to our county. These employees also need to be insured a healthy quality of life, good mental health, and work-life balance.
Now, we’re asking the right questions to the right people. The only way forward is to take these steps. Progress Inspires Change.