The Anderson County EMS Audit Commitee will meet Monday April 16th, prior to that night’s County Commission meeting, to hear the final report on the recently-completed EMS operational audit.
In the executive summary of the audit report, Fitch & Associates reported that the “Anderson County EMS is fighting a valiant, but likely unwinnable battle to remain financially and operationally viable as a self-funding entity, in both the emergency and non-emergency spheres.” The summary also states that it is “likely that ACEMS will require additional funding from the county for the foreseeable future.”
Among the other findings noted in the executive summary:
- ACEMS has not been provided adequate resources, specifically vehicles, personnel, station infrastructure and funds, to fulfill the current emergency and non-emergency missions.
- Convalescent care work is deemed necessary for its revenue stream. Current deployment, which co-mingles emergency operations with convalescent care operations, negatively impacts the delivery of 911 emergency services.
- The emergency response time of 19 minutes is well beyond that which is deemed acceptable in other communities.
- Roughly one-third of the county’s land mass is not located within 12 minutes of an ambulance station. When three or fewer ambulances are available for response, roughly 66% of the land mass is not within 12 minutes of an ambulance station.
- Five of the six ACEMS station facilities are inadequate and in some instances unsafe.
- Only six of the ACEMS 17 ambulances fall within the life and mileage parameters set by county policy. Necessary ambulance repairs (specifically ambulance module repairs) are not performed due to lack of available funds.
- Essential biomedical equipment (cardiac monitors) are badly outdated and function poorly.
The summary also states that, “no one person or decision is responsible for ACEMS’s current financial situation and no one person or decision can resolve all of the issues noted in this report. It will take a concerted and long-term effort involving the commitment of county leadership and the community, to develop and agree upon goals and strategies in order to improve Anderson County’s EMS system.
The EMS Audit Report will be presented on Monday April 16th at 4:30 pm in room 312 of the Courthouse in Clinton.