Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
During the last Shelby County Board meeting which we first covered in this article, we sat in amazement as we listened to the comments from certain board members and one particular lie from a county employee who misrepresented the matter being discussed on a grand scale.
With the current ambulance provider in Shelbyville announcing their business closure in the area, an organized push to replace them has taken place. As board members asked some great questions, those questions were deemed as an attempt to block ambulance services from coming into the county.
Teresa Boehm made the following misrepresentation as can be found in the video below.
“There’s a building out there like a bus garage that I think there are ambulance services that are willing to come to this area, and to sit, and try to block that is just asinine.”
The discussion at hand was in regard to a standard of care adopted by the board that was voted down during the prior committee meeting, for good reason. The discussion had nothing to do with “blocking” ambulance services from coming to the area. In fact, blocking it opens the door to more services being able to operate in the county.
Boehm fails to understand that her motion and vote actually restricted the ability of ambulance services in the area and basically narrowed the field to one provider, Abbott Ambulance. Even worse, by adopting a county-wide standard of care different than what IDPH and Region 6 require, they have potentially limited the operation of other ambulance providers currently in the county who do not have the “unnecessary” equipment found in what they adopted. Rather than making it attractive to ambulance providers to come to the area, this action did the opposite and created a whole new set of problems and potential liabilities.
We must note the city of Shelbyville recognized there was no need for such an adopted standard for the very reasons referenced above and others raised by EMS personnel during the city council meeting which can be viewed at this link.
What we would consider asinine is adopting a document filled with unnecessary items which would limit competition and literally block services from coming, with one exception, Abbott Ambulance.
Why did 11 board members do what they did? Was it because of the lie told by Troy Agney, the EMA director? Agney claimed the standard of care document board member Ohrman read from was the same requirements as Region 6, which is totally false.
We have asked multiple people as to the source of the standard of care document in question and those people have indicated that Agney has provided several sources of the document in question.
- He prepared it
- He got it from a bunch of stuff off the internet and information from another county
- It came from a contract in another county
- It came from an attorney in Effingham County
We have asked Agney several questions including why he would claim the standard of care document in question as being the same as Region 6 when in fact it was not the same as he claimed. We also inquired about his employment history with Abbott. At the time of this publication, he has not responded to our inquiry.
When a county chairman defaults to the input of their EMA Director, one would expect him to be truthful about the matter as people vote based on input provided. When such input is false, uninformed votes are cast. When such information is false, red flags are raised.
Why is Agney sitting with Abbott at the last two county board meetings and at the city council meeting? In the case of the city council meeting, Agney met with the Abbott employee out front in advance of the meeting. We ask these questions because ambulance operations and contracts with the city and county have nothing to do with County EMA duties and responsibilities. It appears as if Agney has injected himself into the matter for reasons unknown at this time.
What we do know about the adopted standard of care is it’s almost an exact duplicate of the one put in place in Effingham County several years ago (Effingham County Ambulance Standard of Care document), when Abbott was awarded a contract to operate there. Abbott no longer has that contract in Effingham yet not a single question was raised on that point. Were there issues in Effingham County that Shelby County needs to be made aware of? How many are aware of the legal challenges Effingham County faced from another provider when they awarded Abbott the ambulance contract for services? The county tried, unsuccessfully, to block other providers from providing transport services in the county.
One thing is for sure, what the county adopted needs to be rescinded as it is not needed and only serves the purpose of limiting future agencies from operating in the county and creates a whole new set of problems and potential legal challenges.