Paramedics say area Ambulance service not carrying needed medicine


Posted on February 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 5 at 7:41 PM

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- Southern Indiana health officials say they are in the middle of a serious health concern for residents.

The administrator for the Clark County Health Department says the ambulance service they contracted isn’t carrying medicine vital to their patients.

Rural Metro Ambulance covers most of Clark County, Ind, but health officials say they aren't carrying the necessary medicine they should.

“We are going to get to the bottom of it,” said Mike Meyer, Administrator for Clark County Health Department. “We are very concerned. We would like the best possible service for our citizens.”

Meyer says Rural Metro is not carrying Ativan, which is used to help control seizures.
Meyer says they are required to carry the drug.  It's a standard drug used in most ambulance services across the country.

“We had one call to our 911 service, a run that required one of these drugs, and their paramedics came back over the radio and told our dispatchers that they didn't have that drug with them,” said Meyer.

WHAS11 received a copy of that call.

Paramedic: "We don’t have any seizure medication?"
Dispatcher: “You don’t have any seizure medication?”
Paramedic: “That’s affirmative. No paramedic unit does.”

That call was from a month ago. WHAS11 also got a copy of a call from December expressing the same issue.

Paramedic: “Ma’am, we don’t have any seizure meds, but we’ll respond. You’ll need to transport an emergency to Scottsburg.”

Those who oversee Clark County for Rural Metro Ambulance are based out of Indianapolis. WHAS11's Renee Murphy called the director and he told her they do carry the drugs despite what the paramedics were saying over the radio.

WHAS11 asked if he could double check and get back to us. It's been over a week and at the time of this report was filed, haven't gotten a call from.

“It’s very frustrating. Communications in this situation is paramount and for us to have to find out through the grape vine more or less or through these other channels certainly is frustrating,” said Meyer. “I have not been able to get very many answers their response has been rather slow which is what we consider not an ideal situation.”

Residents were also concerned when we told them what's going.

“I definitely think that needs to be changed to something that can help more people,” said Brooke Birkla, a Clark County resident.

”We would rather they have all the tools they need rather than calling another service to help them which could lose valuable time,” said Meyer.

The Clark County Health Department is holding a meeting with Rural Metro Ambulance services Wednesday morning to address the concerns.