County Commissioners Address Safety Concerns About EMS Facilities

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Athens County Emergency Medical Services employees expressed frustration with the conditions of EMS facilities during the Athens County commissioners meeting today.

They complained about broken equipment, badly maintained buildings and trucks that are hard to drive.

Complaints first became public in a letter to the editor published in a local newspaper on April 1.

During the meeting, James Irwin, the author of this letter, pointed out communication problems between the employees, EMS Director Corey Lenigar and the county commissioners.

According to Irwin, workers had reported equipment failures multiple times, but the issues were never addressed by their supervisors.

The commissioners said they had not received information about problems with vehicles and buildings until a few days before the letter to the editor was published.

Commissioner Larry Payne expressed astonishment that the problems were publicized in the media before brought to the attention of the commissioners. 

“If something doesn't happen, you can come to any of the commissioners or you can come to the meeting," he said.

The director said he wasn’t aware of the gravity of the issues presented in the photos during the meeting.

"I had no idea that it was quite as bad as those pictures showed," he said.

Commissioner Lenny Eliason told WOUB News that Lenigar has been told to do a better job at communicating with the commissioners and the employees.

Eliason also said some building improvements were ordered and that the level of care for EMS patients remains high.