Pulaski County Commissioners Revisit Ambulance Transfer Policies

Pulaski County EMS continues looking for ways to provide ambulance transfers for Pulaski Memorial Hospital without sacrificing the emergency response for the local community.

Hospital officials want the county’s EMS service to handle all emergent transfers, but EMS Director Bryan Corn says he doesn’t want to promise that during periods when there’s only one paramedic available. “At least with the way it’s set up now, if we keep the paramedic in the county at all times, the first truck you call 911 for may not have a paramedic on it, but I can guarantee the second one that’s coming will,” he explained. “If we agree to them, which I don’t think we should, you send that paramedic and it’s halfway to Lafayette, now that paramedic is gone. Now we’re going to call for another county, and depending on the weather, who knows how long it may take for one to get here?”

Now, Corn says the hospital wants a written decision from the county commissioners. During Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Mike McClure called on Pulaski Memorial Hospital to provide qualified medical personnel to help transfer patients. “It looks like the hospital should send a nurse,” he said. “They send nurses in the helicopter, don’t they? I mean, it would put us more liable for a lawsuit because we couldn’t make it. And them sending a nurse, I’m sure there’s certain liability to it, but why would it be any more liable to the hospital that it would be to the EMS?”

Corn said he’d offered to provide an ambulance and crew to the hospital if the hospital provides a nurse, but so far, hospital officials haven’t agreed to that idea. The commissioners asked him to keep working with hospital officials to come to an arrangement.

Meanwhile, County Attorney Kevin Tankersley agreed to work with Corn to come up with an official response from the county.