LETTER: Get expertise in EMS before moving station
I appreciate Mr. Ryan Thorne's comments of his letter to the editor in last Wednesday's paper (Advertiser), regarding Laurens County incompetents (lack of knowledge) of adjoining counties’ EMS systems and what is need to improve our county's response time for emergencies.
Mr. Thorne’s comparison of Laurens County to our neighboring counties, such as Spartanburg, which has a large automotive manufacturing plant (BMW), has not privatized any EMS systems. A private system's bottom line is "Profit", that is the motivation factor in all investments. I don't have a dog in this fight, just interest in management of our resources.
I'm concerned as to "WHO" is making every attempt to circumvent our elective officials and establish their leadership without the approvable of the voters of Laurens County.
This clandestine group could in time manipulate or cunningly influence the outcome of the spending of $90,000 and the overall restructuring of our present EMS system. From the information of a third party, I'm led to believe that members of our county government were not invited to the grand opening of ZF Transmission. That those who received an invitation and attended were the economic development corporation members, county administrator and the past present of LCDC. None of these people were elected, appointed or have any authority in the decision process of the future structure and the relocation of county services. The county council chairman needs to exercise his authority, regain control of this spontaneous group and insure the county's business is conducted in a lawful manner.
It was the original intent that the LCDC be under the control of the county council and the chairman of this body be appointed by the Laurens County council members. How they manage to secede and become a independent identity is another fascinating process.
I spent some time with the Regional Healthcare Manager of Spartanburg County (EMS director) and I recommend that everyone in the planning stages of this renovation of our EMS, invite those who are knowledgeable of the subject matter. When neophytes are in evolved in the planning such as you have devised today, it is totally unacceptable in many facets.
- You are establishing a precedence that is not acceptable to the tax payers or the future of economic development. ZF transmission Mfg. would be the first company to receive a relocated EMS, sheriff's or fire station, at the financial expense of the taxpaying public of Laurens. For that matter, no other county in the upper state of South Carolina has went this far. BMW (automotive mfg.) of Spartanburg uses an established EMS station with a traveling distance of 2.6 miles to their rear entrance and a 4.5 mile travel to their main entrance. Gray Court EMS station has a travel distance of 2.9 mile to their main entrance. The time to travel this extra .3 of a mile @ 60 mph is three tenths of a second, or the blink of the eye!
- Laurens County has spent time planning and spending tax dollars on projects of comfort for the employees and council members (new $4,000,000 office building for county administration staff, planning of a new operational center for EMS management, remolding of the old court house for county council meeting). Nothing has been spent for the welfare of those who pay the bills.
- The old building on Church Street would make a less expensive housing of EMS headquarters.
4) We need two more staffed operational units located in the county (Spartanburg has 19 EMS stations, and about the same land area to cover as Laurens County).
In closing, my thoughts of the school board and the county council are one and the same, "unable to comprehend the vastest of the matter confronting them." The inability to govern and control other county employees, develop new policies, research and logically come to an intelligent recommendation to solve the endeavor.