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EMS deals with loss of equipment

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Magistrates discuss ways to indicate ownership

By Ron Benningfield

Pat Helm, director of LaRue County’s Emergency Medical Service, brought a yellow stabilizer board to LaRue County Fiscal Court’s meeting Dec. 8 that had another county’s name painted in large black letters on it, but which Helm said actually belonged to LaRue’s EMS.

"I just wanted you to be aware of what's going on," he told magistrates meeting at the courthouse in Hodgenville. "These boards are getting more expensive, $150-175 each; we purchased 30 yellow ones and have lost about $3,000 in boards that have been done like this."

He told the court that he had etched each of LaRue’s yellow boards in several places, including the ends and sides, with LaRue EMS identification. He showed the magistrates where someone had routed out that identifying information in each of the areas where he had placed it, then had painted another county's name on the front of the board.

Helm said that boards are sometimes inadvertently switched at a hospital during ambulance runs, but generally find their way back to the agency that owns them. This instance shows intentional misidentification, he said. His department is required to have these boards on hand, but all of the yellow ones have disappeared.

Magistrates discussed several possible remedies – painting “LaRue EMS” in bold letters, engraving more deeply, implanting computer chips. For each solution suggested, they also realized that identifying information could be removed.

For a detailed report of the Fiscal Court meeting, see the Dec. 16 print edition of The LaRue County Herald News.