After reading the March 5 letter by Troy David Bedichek, Ambulances shouldnt be sent to Augusta calls (http://www.newstimesonline.com/stories/030503/let_letters_030503_1132_6.shtml), I feel compelled to address the untruths and misconceptions in his letter.
I, too, have worked in Columbia County for six years with both private services. I can assure everyone that the service provided by Gold Cross EMS is second to none. Bedichek states that ambulances are used in Augusta to transport MCG, VA Hospital and nursing home patients, which is true.
There are many Columbia County residents in MCG, the VA, St. Joseph Hospital, University Hospital and various nursing homes. We provide transport for those citizens. What Bedichek failed to mention was that when a Columbia County ambulance is sent into Augusta, a Richmond County ambulance is in Columbia County to provide coverage. At no time has Columbia County been without ambulances due to routine transports. Our first and foremost priority is emergency coverage.
Bedichek states that an ambulance was sent to MCG to transport a patient to Charleston, S.C. He did not mention that the Harlem ambulance was already at MCG, and an ambulance from Doctors Hospital was sent to Columbia County to cover until the ambulance returned. Coverage was not compromised. Gold Cross does provide coverage at the races in Grovetown at Gordon Park Speedway during the summer. What Bedichek again failed to mention is that off-duty EMTs and off-duty ambulances cover these events.
At one time Bedichek was assigned to our helicopter program as a flight paramedic. He was removed from flight duty because he refused to take an emergency call. His reasoning was that he had to attend a class when he got off duty in an hour and a half. Also, Bedichek was scheduled to meet with his supervisor concerning a call in Columbia County that he tried to give to Rural/Metro Ambulance. Rather than attend this meeting scheduled for Feb. 17, 2003, Bedichek walked off the job at midnight, thus leaving the Grovetown station without coverage until a supervisor could be sent to take his place.
I certainly hope Bedichek has more success with his new employer, Rural/Metro, than he did with Gold Cross.
Gold Cross EMS
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