Posted: Nov 2, 2012 4:53 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
Updated: Nov 2, 2012 6:55 PM
DRISCOLL - The towns of Driscoll, Bishop and Petronila have hired a new ambulance service to share, after their old provider left due to a break down in contract negotiations last week. The three towns make up Emergency Service District 6 and share emergency services.
A new ambulance service based in the valley called Pro-Medic E.M.S has now been hired, but it turns out that they may not be the best choice.
6 News obtained documents from the Texas Department of State Health Services that detail multiple investigations launched against Pro-Medic in the last three years.
The investigations have resulted in over $45,000 in fines. In many cases, the documents say that Pro-Medic's ambulances weren't properly equipped for their emergency calls.
The documents list problems like emergency lights not working, or missing equipment like oxygen tanks, batteries, and meters.
And in one case, the documents detail how a man having a heart attack didn't get proper care. The case reads, "Respondent failed to assure its staff rapidly transport its patients to the hospital by not having a clear and/or adequate transport".
We talked with Driscoll Mayor John Aguilar, who told us he didn't know about Pro-Medic's past. We showed him the documents, and he said it's definitely cause for concern. We shared the documents with him so he could check the company out. Something that he says is hard for small towns to do.
"What happens in every small community is a lot of background that needs to be done. You know, we're short funds to be able to, have the resources to look into stuff like that," Aguilar says.
Bill Ordner is the president of the Board that decides which ambulance service will work for District 6. He says Pro-Medic has only been hired on a preliminary basis and that they are investigating the company's past.
"The attorney is doing a background check on them. So, we're not going to sign this contract until it's complete," Ordner says.
We shared the documents with Ordner as well to assist with their background check. As for Pro-Medic, we tried to call them and they have not returned our call.
A representative at the Department of State Health Services told us that Pro-Medic has undergone new management in the last year and that they've still seen problems from them, but they've been a lot less.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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