City wants to meet with county on ambulance issue
By Gene Kemmeter
The Stevens Point Police and Fire Commission wants to meet with Portage County Executive Patty Dreier and Joe Brandt, county emergency management director, regarding an investigation about an ambulance used by paramedics in the Fire Department.
Stevens Point Fire Chief Robert Finn told the Commission Tuesday, Sept. 5, he received an email from Assistant Chief Joseph Gemza, who oversees the ambulance operations in the department, from Brandt Aug. 8, asking for an investigation and report regarding an ambulance that needed $509 in repairs after allegedly driving through high water during a June 12 storm.
Finn said he investigated and found a report prior to the storm that an ambulance driver requested maintenance on the ambulance because he felt the transmission was slipping. While awaiting maintenance, the storm occurred, and the ambulance was pressed into service as the ambulances responded to more than 70 emergencies that night.
That ambulance never responded to any call through high water, Finn said, and the request for vehicle maintenance went to the highway garage, as required by the contract between Portage County, which funds the ambulance system, and the city, which operates part of the system.
There was nothing in the ambulance driver’s report about high water, Finn said, so he inquired if the driver neglected mentioning it, but the driver denied going into any high water, and pointed out the suspected transmission slippage was reported earlier.
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