Archive for Thursday, June 8, 2006

Discussion set for EMS issues

June 8, 2006

The will of the Eudora City Council and Eudora Emergency Medical Services Director Bill Vigneron has come to fruition.

After discussing pressing problems with the council during a meeting last month concerning the Eudora EMS role within the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical umbrella, city officials met with County Administrator Craig Weinaug to set a time for all parties to meet to air out the issues.

Originally, Vigneron urged the council to consider incorporating EMS services into the city, but at the end of the discussion Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty and Councilman Dan Gregg convinced Vigneron of the need to set up a meeting.

"That's a big part of my job ---- getting people together and working out situations like that," Weinaug said.

All four parties including Weinaug, Vigneron, Beatty and LDCFM Chief Mark Bradford will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday behind closed doors.

Among the issues Vigneron brought to the council's attention was the inability of his volunteers to administer certain treatments like albuterol or provide a patient's prescription without the presence of a LDCFM supervisor, although Eudora EMTs are licensed to do so.

Other issues included problems with LDCFM's radio network in city limits and a potentially hazardous dispatch situation created by the March microburst.

In letters sent to Beatty before the council meeting, Vigneron described Eudora EMS's presence within the county and Lawrence as "the orphaned stepdaughter of the LDCFM."

With the meeting set, Vigneron said he hadn't heard from LDCFM, but was prepared to sit down to talk.

"Our highest concern is what is best for the citizens of Eudora," Vigneronsaid. "We feel that they are being denied services that we could perform based on our level of certification from the state of Kansas. I am hoping that LDCFM will be willing to broaden our protocols to include these additional procedures."

In the meantime, Vigneron said his fellow Eudora EMTs are taking a reserved approach.

"I feel that the members of EEMS are happy that these issues are being opened up for discussion, but I think their attitude is to wait and see what comes out of the meeting."

Assistant EEMS director Sarah Nordin also noticed more of a status quo with her co-workers.

"I haven't seen any change other than there is more attention to the matter now and that everybody knows that there's something going on now," Nordin said.

Nordin echoed Vigneron's focus despite the controversy.

"My biggest issue is patient care," Nordin said.

Patient care would be her priority whether EEMS solved the issue with outside help or by itself, Nordin said.

Beatty said she's pleased the opportunity to talk about issues.

"I think it's just a great meeting to have, just in opening the line of communication that seems to be the only issue in getting things resolved," Beatty said. "The county wasn't aware there were any issues to be resolved and now we'll get lines of communication open."

Weinaug said he's positive the meeting will yield results for all involved.

"I'm confident, though, we'll be able to work something out," Weinaug said. "I don't know what it will be, but we'll work something out."

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