( 2 Votes )

Fluvanna County Rescue has been dealing with a dearth of volunteers for a while and for two weeks this month, squads were running without two of its vehicles.
On May 6, state health inspectors pulled the permits from units 46 and 47 for among other things unsanitary conditions and unsecured medical supplies, according to an email from Michael Berg, Virginia Department of Health.
County Administration Steve Nichols said the two vehicles are now back in service.
“The two ambulances were re-inspected Wednesday night (May 22) and are back on line,” Nichols said.  “Both are now certified.”
The Office of Emergency Medical Services, a division of the Virginia Department of Health, has minimum equipment and supply standards each rescue squad vehicle must have. Many times violations are for out-of-date supplies, Berg wrote.
‘There were two units that did not meet the minimum requirements as necessary for us to place a permit back on the units (Fluvanna Unit 46, and Unit 47),” Berg wrote. “Specifically the violations included: ‘spare 02 cylinders were unsecured, fire extinguishers were unsecured, Philips monitor, laptop and other medical equipment unsecured, dirty linens and used medical supplies in patient compartment.  Portable suction was not charging and the current level of charge was not strong enough to pull suction, the permit on this unit was dated 5/31/3011, there were unsanitary conditions in the patient compartment.  Several ALS & BLS airway supplies were expired.  No ETCO2 or confirmation devices, 1 blade in kit still had remnants of previous intubation on it. Both fire extinguishers, Philips monitor and various medical equipment, including Jump Bag, not secured, unit not clean, Intubation kit had expired ET tubes and ETCO2 (all tubes were expired, not just some). Could not locate triage tags or board splints, KKK specs were missing on unit.  This unit has a history of having its permit pulled as documented on 6/2/2011.’”
Repeated attempts to contact James Davis, Fluvanna Rescue Squad Chief and Jamie Stafford, Chairman of the Fluvanna Rescue Board proved fruitless.
Berg said all emergency services squad – paid or volunteer – operating in Virginia are subject to a two-year inspection by the Office of Emergency Medical Services, a division of the Virginia Department of Health. When the vehicles pass inspection, they are certified for two years. Out of 685 Emergency Services agencies in Virginia, 447 are volunteer squads.
According to OEMS online records, in 2011, 12 agencies had violations, in 2012, nine had violations. So far in 2013, seven squads have recorded violations, including Fluvanna.
The County’s new Emergency Services Coordinator, Cheryl Wilkins, starts May 28, Nichols said. Besides having previous high-level emergency services coordination experience, Nichols said three things were important for the new person to have and Wilkins has it in spades.
“(The EMS Coordinator needs to) Communicate, coordinate and collaborate. I’m really high on the new person,” Nichols said.
Wilkins is the second person hired for the position. Robert Truoccolo was the first, but after two weeks on the job, which included the March snowstorm, he decided it was too much for him, Nichols said.