Did EMS union try to ‘game’ dispatch to get more trucks?

Inweekly has a received a series of county emails that show the EMS union president was upset with how dispatch was routing ambulances because he wanted to “show a delay and (the) need for more trucks.”

In a March 29 email, Mike Jenkins, president of Local 325, wrote Fire Chief Rusty Nail under the subject “Double Assigning Calls:”

Good morning,

Wednesday night while working a special event dispatch was double assigning calls for trucks that had been at the hospital for a short amount of time. The day was also double assigning. Is there anyway we can schedule a meeting with Andy and Christy to explain the importance about not double assigning? We need to show a delay and need for more trucks.

M Jenkins

Double assigning is when an ambulance completes a call -such as dropping someone off a Sacred Heart hospital- and instead of returning to base-or in this case “a special event’- is sent on another call.

Assistant Administrator Matt Coughlin didn’t go along with the request when Nail forwarded Jenkins’ email to him and Public Safety Director Mike Weaver.

I will be upfront and honest and say that I don’t understand the intricacies of dispatch. I would only say, that “truth in reporting” IAW policy is paramount. I just don’t want it gamed to illustrate anything in particular.

Matt Coughlin

Weaver agreed:

I believe we are meeting everyone’s needs, being truthful today in reporting and allowing dispatch the ability to be efficient when the system is slammed.

Mike Weaver