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Friday, May 6, 2016

Family voices concerns with TransCare

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The demeanor of Clay County's ambulance service has one family frustrated.

On Monday, Brazil resident Kelly Moore and four members of her family approached both the Clay County Commissioners and Clay County Council with complaints and questions about TransCare.

Moore stated 911 dispatchers at the Clay County Justice Center were contacted on Feb. 8 to request emergency services to assister her brother-in-law, who was having what ended up being a fatal heart attack. Per protocols, the call was transferred to TransCare dispatchers. She added a second call had to be made four minutes later because the initial one had been cut off.

"We were only about two blocks away from the hospital, yet it took about 10 minutes for them to show up," Moore said, pointing out TransCare arrived without the lights or sirens on. "Plus, they drove by the house a couple of times, and I am curious as to why they don't seem to know the streets or area at all."

Moore continued to describe what happened, saying when TransCare did arrive, all they seemed to be concerned with was starting an IV, while at the same time were extremely rude.

"TransCare was made aware of the heart condition, but they didn't even bring in a defibrillator," she said. "Also, they were very unprofessional and made rude and unnecessary remarks when it came to doing part of their job."

Other family members pitched in by questioning if TransCare employees have the needed certifications, and reemphasized their curiosity about the inability to find the right locations.

Mike Heaton
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said part of the problem regarding delayed response times is that the county's E-911 system and TransCare have different coding systems, which is currently in the process of being merged.

"When our dispatchers receive a call, we have one set of codes that are different from what TransCare uses, meaning extra time is being used to find the correct code," Heaton said. "However, we are training right now to be on the same coding system, and hope to have it up and running by the end of May."

Moore also said when she approached TransCare with the issues, representatives placed the blame solely on the Sheriff's Department, which after more research, she found was not the case.

"Sheriff Heaton helped me in every aspect I needed, but TransCare officials didn't seem to have any answers other than passing the buck onto the Sheriff's Department," she said.

The commissioners and council members both said there would be issues with any ambulance service.

"No ambulance service is perfect, and there always is room for improvement," Commissioner Paul Sinders said.

County Council member Larry Moss said the human element sometimes throws things out of whack.

"I'm not making excuses for them, but humans do make mistakes," Moss said during the council meeting. "However, it doesn't excuse the lack of 'bedside manner,' but with the added knowledge we can work to make things better."

Although Moore knew it was too late to save her brother-in-law, she and her family wanted to bring the issues to county officials in hopes of preventing similar problems in the future, which officials were happy they did.

"I am glad you came to speak up on this issue," Council President Mike McCullough said. "It is always beneficial to have the public come to us with their concerns so we can be more informed and make better decisions."

Meanwhile, the County Council also approved an additional appropriation of $350 in the Jail CAGIT Fund for the purpose of covering costs associated with the county's upgraded bond ratings.

The next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Monday, May 3, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse. The Clay County Council will next meet on the same date at 6 p.m., at the same location.

Times Staff Reporter Ivy Jacobs contributed to this article.

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Sorry for the family involved. This doesn't begin to be on the same level as the article but please read. I have a complaint about Trans Care too. I was in an auto accident and was transported with the other driver to the hospital and found out that Trans Care billed both of us FULL amounts of that ambulance ride. DOUBLE DIPPING. How sad.

-- Posted by Innocent on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 8:32 AM

People do make mistakes BUT...Medical Personnel shoult NOT make mistakes, that was a poor excuse in my book and I think maybe there should be some council members that need to be excused from their positions...how would he have reacted if that was one of his family members? I'm sure he would not be calling it a human mistake...he'd be placing the blame as well. ALL TransCare employees are rude as well as their superiors! I think TransCare should be voted out and turned in for many violations that have been swept under the rug!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by clgruener on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 8:45 AM

I had to use Transcare last fall and several times I offered my insurance card to them after arriving at the hospital. They said they would get it later. After the hospital office staff came into the ER to get the information I figured the ambulance staff would get it from them so I stopped offering, but no. I got a bill and it took several months and calls to the Transcare billing dept to get it straightened out. While my issue had a happier ending, it again demonstrates that the staff is not always "on the ball", even when reminded. It might also help to have a local service that was in network with some of the more popular health insurance plans. Maybe a good question to ask when next contract is given. They are not in network with Sagamore, a common Indiana plan. I wonder if they are with Blue Cross, another commonly used by people here.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 8:48 AM

Healthcare workers should never be rude or disrespectful to their clients. A little empathy and respect go a long way! No excuse for rude behavior! Sorry that the family had to deal with such an unpleasant situation, but glad they have brought it to the public light!

-- Posted by millertime on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 9:06 AM


Unless things have changed, I do not believe Transcare takes Blue Cross and Blue Shield either.

-- Posted by karenmeister on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 9:08 AM


Although I agree that people make mistakes, you are very critical of medical personnel. EVERYONE makes mistakes no matter what line of work you are in. As for your comment on "All TransCare Employees" being rude, I beg to differ. As a fire fighter, I know many of these employees and find most of them to be kind individuals.

Something that most people do not know is there are times when the local TransCare ambulance is relocated due to another emergency. When this happens an ambulance from another county is brought into Clay County. That being said, the medics may not be familiar with our area and may pass by a house a couple times trying to find it. The best advice is if there is an emergency send someone out of the house and wait for the ambulance. When they see the ambulance coming have them start waving to alert the driver. I have passed by houses numerous times on fire runs for the simple fact that the house is not marked with an address number and there is nobody posted to alert emergency personnel.

Having grown up in different states and cities I have learned that no matter where you go there is ALWAYS going to be a problem with ANY ambulance service. I have had good and bad situations with TransCare, Care, Rural Metro, Air Evac, and other services. I believe the family did the right thing and brought it to the attention of the proper authorities. As with any situation like this, now it is up to those people to place the "ball" in the court of the company responsible, in this cast TransCare. If TransCare does not fix the problem than maybe they need to be replaced.

As for the family involved, you have my condolences for the family member you lost.

-- Posted by Thomas Morton on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 9:34 AM

I have had a couple experiences with Trans-Care over the past couple years with my parents. I have found their staff to be professional and courteous. My family credits Trans-Care for saving my fathers life when he was unresponsive after having a heart attack. I asked many of the same questions at the time when they loaded my father but later came to understand that the real work on the patient comes in the back of the ambulance and not on my living room floor. The doctors in the emergency room said I needed to thank the Commissioners for bringing Trans-Care to Clay County because my father would have probably died without having a paramedic on the scene. I never took the time to thank the Commissioners but felt compelled to do so after reading a few of the negative comments. I did not like the bill I received later(I think about $600) but consider it a bargan vs. paying half that amount for a cheaper ambulance without a paramedic. Thank you Trans-Care adn to those responsible for bringing Trans-Care to our county.

-- Posted by Lafin on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 9:58 AM

Well I'm not surprised at all Trans Care is always slow and do not know where they are going, Council members are wrong or at least out of touch because Trans Care should be on top of things and we are not talking one time because This is everyday stuff. What a slap in the face for these people and as well the others county wide who have felt the lack of Ambulance service. Trans care have had calls and been in terre haute with eta's of 20min at time of dispatch and had to drive all the way back. What does that have to do with codeing... Trans Care should have the "care" taken out of there name. I would like to say Thanks to all the search and rescue personal and volunter fire who have helped take up some of the lax from trans care incompetence work ethics, performance and equipment.

Shame on passing the buck and for council for not defending the people of the county they are to serve.

-- Posted by computerdx on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 10:25 AM

I learned along time ago if you have someone that can drive you don't even bother calling. I've had issues with the people for a long time. They take forever and they are rude and yea people make mistakes in all professions but I think when a majority of the people complain about them then it's time to go.

-- Posted by SKCC on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 10:44 AM

A member of my family had to experience the unprofessionalism of Trans Care a couple of years ago. My family member had a heart attack, and luckily survived the ordeal, but Trans Care never put my family member on the stretcher they made them walk to the stretcher and they did not assist my family member to that stretcher, my brother was the person who helped the family member. But when the invoice arrives to be paid they expect full reimbursement, even when they did only half of the work.

Commissioners please review Trans Care record.

-- Posted by bluedevil82 on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 10:59 AM

My question is how can trans care or any of these EMT services,justify thier extreme cost.

I have a friend here that had the Ambulance take him to the hospital 4 miles away,Cost $1400.But you cant put a price on your life either.

-- Posted by T-REX on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 11:02 AM

Mr. Morton:

We have malpractice laws in place to keep medical professionals in check. When they make mistakes, we file lawsuits. Simple as that. Are these people not medical professionals? If not, why in the world are they being trusted with our lives? Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but it seems TransCare has proven more often than not that they are not up to par. This isn't the first time they have messed up even for this family (I know for a fact) or for other families and will definitely not be the last.

Since they're obviously not going to improve, it's time for TransCare to get out of town.

-- Posted by jen23 on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 11:11 AM

Last fall, while returning from lunch, a coworker and i came upon a young woman who was grasping her chest and having trouble breathing. I immediately called 911, gave her the address and was told they were transferring me to Transcare personnel. I had to repeat everything to transcare. I could see a Transcare vehicle within 1/2 a block from where we were and it still took them 10 min to get to this young lady. I could have put her in my vehicle and taken her to the hospital in about 3-4 minutes.

I told them repeatedly the intersecting roads located in town and that I could see Transcare from our location and it still took them that long. Thank God it wasn't one of my family members.

If it ever is one of my family members, I think I'll drive them myself. Alot of unecessary time was wasted in this process.

-- Posted by dbltrbl on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 11:31 AM

I agree with SKCC - if you live 2 blocks from the Hospital, why not drive yourself? Seems reasonable.

I also agree that if the "common denominator" seems to be the poor bedside manner and lack of response time (for whatever reason - if you're late, apologize, don't pass it off) .. sounds to me like the majority of the people on here don't like the service TransCare provides.

I've never used them, personally .. and will do everything I can not to after reading these posts.

-- Posted by Emmes on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 11:51 AM

Emme said: **"I agree with SKCC - if you live 2 blocks from the Hospital, why not drive yourself? Seems reasonable."**

Tell that to the person laying on the floor who just suffered a heart attack, or fell and broke their arm or leg.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 12:03 PM

ambulances services have done some citizens right. but i can't say that for my family. my family lived a few blocks from the hospital across the highway, my father went down in our home & my aunt called 911 three times to get the ambulance. a few of my family members were outside waiting for them to pass so they could flag them down, one family member was on the corner of our street & the highway. they passed them right up. (we watched them pull out of the hospital) my mother was working 6 blocks away from our home & made it there before they ambulance. after 20 min the ambulance came pulling up. once they got inside they screamed at my mother & used profanity repeatedly & told her to get "stuff" outta the way. her & my aunt automatically moved what they asked them to. the woman that was with them came into the house & performed the neccessary actions on my father.(he was having a massive heart attack). the male that came with them was worrying over details which i know was important but could've waited. my father was in the floor barely breathing & they did not bring the equipment that was required. my father was a code blue when he arrived at the hospital. some citizens are lucky enough when they call 911 to get a crew who know what to do...but my family wasn't so lucky. now as a result i will never see my father nor my uncle again. i am not putting the blame on the ambulance service but i want to point out there need to be higher qualifications & evaluations when your inquiring people to save other peoples lives.

-- Posted by mityd on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 12:29 PM


Your comment states that "sometimes" the ambulance is dispatched from another location:Per the the TransCare transcript from that call that the family had a copy of and read directly from at that meeting,the ambulance was dispatched from Clay St. Vincent that night.The family also stated that they lived 2 blocks from hospital.I attended this meeting and other issues that were addressed were that:No oxygen was given,no defibulator,and there was a family standing at edge of road to flag TransCare down.Also the issue of the call being disconnected was actually TransCare releasing the call without making sure they had found the house.Another family member spoke of that per Transcare's website they claim that all their dispatchers are trained to be able to give step by step instructions for CPR until help arrives but yet did not offer after being told patient was not breathing and was having a possible heart attack.(hello,gettin the picture?)This was alot of mistakes made on just 1 call,if every other call they recieve has this many "human mistakes" made by a licensed profesional are we really better off?Anyone can have a fancy title following their name but it always doesn't mean they are good at what they do.The council states the county council sets aside $185,000 a year to pay the TransCare contract,we each as taxpayers pay into the funds that pay that contract it is high time they provide the citizens of this county with:quality care,respect to families during their experience,be prepared (especially when told ahead of time the issue),and to learn this area to provide a more timely arrival and transport to appropriate facility.Earn that $185,000 Transcare or get out!

-- Posted by westsidemom on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 12:34 PM

I have called Trans-care once! I will never call them again! My daughter has insulin dependant diabetes and her sugar was very low. When I called 911 they put me on hold and then the dispatcher from trans-care came on the phone. The first thing she said was DONT give her anything to eat or drink until we get there! Any one who deals with diabetes knows that if the person can drink, then give them something with sugar in it. If they cant drink then a tube of cake decorating icing can be put on the inside of the jaw with your finger and that will help bring blood sugar levels up too. Just make sure the person is laying on the side you put the icing on so they dont choke!! Anyway back to the problem at hand, it took them 25 min. to get to my house. I already had her sugar up and she was able to talk to me. They never asked me if I wanted them to take her to the hospital. They had me sign a paper and they walked out the door!! Thank god I knew what I was doing huh!! We have delt with them two other times as well, once they started to leave the hospital with my daughter in the back of the ambulace and the doors were still open, and when they were unloading her at union they let the stretcher roll down the hill with her on it. Real pros huh! Now we call them tran-scare! We refuse to use them by the way. If we need our daughter taken by ambulance we call care out of Terre Haute.

-- Posted by dogslove on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 12:44 PM

Firstly, as someone that was a Paramedic for a good many years, I can tell you that we ALL make some mistakes.

I am not going to stick up for Trans-Care, as I have never really been a fan of theirs anyway. However, I would just like to stress that just because you have a problem with 1 service, please do not lump all emergency personnel in the same boat.

It sounds to me like things were not taken seriously on the run discussed in the article, by the trans-Care staff. Either that, or information was not correctly relayed between the caller, the Sheriff's Dept., Trans-Care dispatcher, and the ambulance crew. I am guessing that the crew did not arrive with the knowledge that the patient was possibly having a heart attack or not breathing. The reason I say this is that NO prudent Paramedic would have arrived at a call like that without lights and sirens and not carry in a heart monitor.

The problem with the current system in Clay County is that information has to pass through too many people before it eventually gets carried out by a responding crew. As mentioned before, people make mistakes and when too many people are involved in the chain it greatly increases the chance for a mistake.

I was hugely in favor of bringing a Paramedic service to Clay County. The need for better emergency care for this county had long since passed. That said, it does the county absolutely no good at all if that care is compromised by an out dated system for dispatching them.

-- Posted by olmedic on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 3:19 PM

In response to olmedic:

Seems like you have a good take on the situation. However, it seems like having 911 systems nationwide, we should have some great systems to model ours off of. Doesn't seem like too big of an issue to change our 911 system considering we can afford to pay TransCare $185,000 to simply do business in our county, right? I mean we pay rediculously high rates anyway for unqualified people who we trust with our own lives and the lives of our loved ones, right? Really seems like our tax dollars aren't being well spent. Time for a change in that immediately or time for a change in our officials come election time.

I know our elected officials aren't all bad and really put themselves out there to try and better our community, but it's time for a change. So, I'm speaking directly to those officials who can actually do something about this: Think about what everyone has said on here today and put yourself in their positions. If it was your family member laying there helpless and you received this very low quality of care and service, how would you feel? If you try and tell yourself you wouldn't be outraged, you're lying to yourself and I wouldn't have you entrusted with my tax dollars or anything else for that matter. Please do what you can to better our system and get us something that works. Thank you

-- Posted by jen23 on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 3:55 PM

This a nice story, but where is Trans-Care's side?

Don't journalistic ethics require a writer to contact them for comment? Typical of this rag that a reporter stirs up stuff without all the facts.

There is nothing in this article that is based on more than the family's feelings. I have some experience in this area and know that they are complaining about things they have no idea about like initiating an IV... necessary to get the heart drugs into the patient. That big needle you see in the movies isn't how it's done.

I'm sorry for the family's loss, but I also know that patient privacy laws can prevent Trans-Care from discussing the case in any way that would identify the patient.

There are always at least two sides to every story and truth is almost never found in a (this) newspaper.

-- Posted by whatsup on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 4:20 PM

yes Whats up your right, the newspaper never gets all the facts.and no, trans-care can not release any information that would otherwise identify the patient. however they can speak the facts just like the rest of us are with our right to freedom of speech. i know a little bit of the medical feild but not much. i do know that when the crew was instructed that a heart patient was having a possible heart attack they should,ve brought neccessary equipment to help the patient. instead the crew walked in the house looked at the patient & told the spouse that everything was ok. said the patient was fine. i know enough to tell you that when someones face is turning blue that means they CAN'T breathe! however as you stated earlier what you see in the movies with heart patients is not how it's done in reality, furthermore for a member of an ambulance crew to initialize an iv into the patient they have to bring the equipment to do so! yes, this article is based on the family's feeling & the family is hurting over the loss of a loved one. but, trans-care hasn't stated any facts, therefore the family members are going to stick to their decisions of the crew being unprofessional, uncaring & so on. put yourself in the family's shoes before you start judging. we are not blaming anyone we only want justice for our loved ones who would still be here if certifiable people were working on the crew.

-- Posted by mityd on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 5:38 PM


Although I do not have first hand knowledge of the contract between the county and Trans-Care, I can tell you that even with the subsidy that you mentioned, Trans-Care is probably still not making as much of a profit as most would think. Many of the associated costs are in fact imposed on services as a cap.

As far as changing the current service, I would recommend that any interested speak with their commissioners, and attend a meeting and voice and opinion. Although options for other services are few, one option that I would propose is that the county create their own Paramedic service. most county services are run much like the police and fire departments. It would not only allow the county to have a good control of its own medical care, but would also not be a financial burden as it would pay for itself.

-- Posted by olmedic on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 6:04 PM


Exactly, where is TransCare? They chime in on here or they very easily could attend a council meeting.


I could be wrong, but aren't the people at the people at TransCare or any other similar company very limited to what medications they can administer to patients? Just wondering.

Any by the way, very similar situations have happened twice in this family as far as how TransCare has disproven itself as a reputable company. Also, many others have had bad dealings with Transcare. Right? It really looks that way.

-- Posted by jen23 on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 6:13 PM


The home office of TransCare in Terre Haute was contacted prior to the meeting on Monday and invited to discuss the issue,they declined.So if they wanted to tell their side of story they were given opportunity.Let me tell you first off so you will have no more assumptions that I am the patients sister,and he had 2 other sisters present along with his wife at this meeting.I also will clarify another assumption you made about "the call",all three of us have worked in Healthcare for many years and we too have experience in this area.Apparently your experience was limited in the reading area because we discussed the issues reading straight from the Transcript that TransCare provided to his wife,or based upon the family members that were present at the house that night.So no it was not all based on feelings,we had the necessary documents to back our arguements most of the info was stated in the transcript by Transcare staff themselves.As far as Privacy laws,yes we know the HIPPA laws as well,I have 12 yrs in healthcare field and two college degrees.I also did my homework before I went to the meeting some of the research I did and info and questions I had were based on info i printed directly from TansCare's website.As far as the IV if you have the knowledge you stated during Cardiac arrest you know that you do CPR to keep blood flowing to heart and lungs until Defibrillation can be administered.Cardiac arrest can be reversed if treated with defibrillation(electric shock to heart to restore a normal heartbeat)within the first few minutes.Brain death and permanent death start to occur in just 4-6 minutes of someone experiencing Cardiac arrest.A Person's chances of survival are reduced 7-10% with every minute that passes without CPR and Defibrillation and very few attempts of resuscitation are successful after 10 minutes.Point being TransCare were already past 10 minutes when they "finally" arrived on scene.(again timeframe quoted from intial call via TransCare Transcript).They should have immediately started CPR,or used a Defibrillator then started IV,(any trained medical professional can verify that is treatment for Sudden Cardiac arrest)So, Mr.Whatsup were not just a bunch of Medically uneducated emotional family members complaining about issues "based on feelings".But you see the major complaint I have is they were told ahead of time that it was a possible heart attack and they still did not come prepared to handle a Cardiac arrest victim.I find it hard to believe that this day in age that each of TransCare's ambulances do not have a defibrillator and if they do why was it not used?To answer the question about IV if there is no blood flow, the drugs will not reach the heart correct?

-- Posted by westsidemom on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 6:36 PM


First, I am sorry for your family's loss. While it is part of life, death is always tragic and heartbreaking when it happens in a family.

you are correct in how things should normally work, but let me add a couple of things.

As I stated above, I seriously doubt that the responding ambulance personnel knew they were in fact responding to a cardiac arrest. While dispatch may have been told, I really think something got lost in the information line that ended up with the responders. Since you too are in healthcare, you should know all too well that it would take a seriously derelict individual to have that information and not bring appropriate equipment into the residence. In 18 years of medicine, I have yet to meet a medic that did not want to save a life, given the opportunity.

Something your family could seek out would be the audio recordings of all the dispatchings of the run. Since each step must be recorded and kept for a certain amount of time, I have a feeling that you will find the answer to why it may have "seemed" like the responders came unprepared.

-- Posted by olmedic on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 7:51 PM


Answering your question we were given opportunity to listen to the 911 calls,Sheriff Heaton has been so helpful and kind.Thank you, Mike Heaton.From the first call and second it was told family member states that she feels it is Cardiac arrest due to patient history,Patient was not breathing and unresponsive,was also stated on both calls that patient was gray.Either way when you call 911 u are transfered to TransCare dispatch if pass the wrong info on to responders (which was not case here)that is still fault on TansCare's part.Regardless, you know as well as I do if you (for example)was to respond to a call patient is gray and no heartbeat or faint one,would you or not immediately start chest compressions?As far as equipment i simply stated in this day in age most all ambulances are equipped with defibrilators and have someone trained to use them onboard.I also stated that if it was present on ambulance why was it not used?I will tell you that my sister-in-law went to TransCare and requested and was given on paper a complete record (transcript) from them of the 1st and 2nd call and from the time they arrived on scene of the whole time right up to the time patient was released into hands of Clay St.Vincents and they documented that upon arrival they assessed and patient was gray and had Bradycardia,and that family stated patient had cardiac history.They still tried to start an IV instead of starting CPR.So you see these are not baseless accusations they have been documented and recorded, not by family but By EMS personel or TransCare themselves.We as family are not after any money or Lawsuit we want them to take a look at this, admit fault and to provide better care to other families in the future.Had they not been so unprofessional,and atleast tried to do all they could,there would be no wondering if things would have turned out differently.But Transcare has showed no remorse or even apologized for anything,instead we had to hear rude remarks from the female EMT because she did not like to do any lifting,her remark was "Oh Great"!There is no excuse for that attitude she knew when she accepted that job that lifting was a requirement or maybe she needs to find a job that would better suit her preferences!

-- Posted by westsidemom on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 8:51 PM

My condolenses go out to this family. We can all make our assumptions and put our "two cents" in, but we were not there nor do we know what happened. Based on what is being said by the family, I am appaled that medical personnel would treat anyone that way in a very stressful and emotionally frightful situation. Anyone who has had a family member suffer any medical emergency knows what I mean. I think Trans Care probably didn't attend the meeting because they are fearing a possible lawsuit from the family. There is a statue of limitations timeframe that a lawsuit can be filed upon them, am I not correct? This being said I just wanted to add that I see in Terre Haute Trans Care being used alot to transport people to routine doctors visits. I know that Medicaid pays for this transportation and Medicaid also pays the Yellow Cab for this as well. Alot of these people aren't suffering any chronic conditions that need medical personnel on hand in case an emergency may occur during the trip, so why must Trans Care be used for such purposes? And are these trips taking up trained professionals that should be in stand-by in case an actual emergency were to take place at the same time? Does the Brazil Fire Dept have paramedics on staff like Terre Haute to take some of the work load off Trans Cares shoulders?

-- Posted by hmmyeah on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 10:00 PM

My condolences to the Moore family. A couple of summers ago I had the unfortunate circumstance of having to be transported by Trans Care to Clay County Hosp. I can say as far as my medical care they were professional, but on a personal level, my grandchildren were present and very scared and so was my husband; the ambulance crew was very short with them and did nothing to calm their fears. This is very minor in comparisson to this story, but it goes to show the lack of compassion they have. If I am correct, I believe Buddy Knox, when he was a commissioner, tried to warn people this would happen but was out voted to bring Trans Care in over Athens. Frankly, I vote bring Athens back.

PS: Jenny Moore, they are not in the Anthem network either.

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 10:45 PM

I've been a fan of getting rid of transcare because of their inadequate service for a while. The commissioners should listen to their voters. It will catch up to them.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 11:29 PM


Almost every privately owned ambulance service you will come across does runs like you described, commonly known as convalescent service. Sadly, it is these types of runs that generate the majority of revenue for many services, and without them, most simply cannot operate. Also, there are a lot of laws in place that require ambulance services to provide transport for the types of patients you describe. Most of them are a sort of catch 22. If a service refuses, and the patient then has a medical emergency while taking the taxi or driving themselves, you can bet the service will be involved in a law suit.


You are right about Buddy knox being voting against. I was at all of those meetings, and can attest to how he voted. The one thing you may not know is that Buddy was not voting against Trans-Care. He was voting against spending any kind of money to upgrade the current type of service the county was receiving. You mentioned bringing Athens back. I sincerely think that bringing Athens employees back is a great idea. They were great people that cared. However, bringing the Athens service back is a horrible idea. The level of care available was far below what is possible from a Paramedic service, and the owner of it not only provided very low pay for his employees, he also made them work in very poor conditions. A very run down mobile home for sleeping quarters, office, and dispatch center is not what the people of Clay County should be able to provide for its rescuers.

As I stated in an earlier post, I really think the answer for this county is to provide its own service, and not one that is contracted from out of county.

-- Posted by olmedic on Wed, Apr 7, 2010, at 11:30 PM

Olmedic is correct. In urban areas the paramedic units are county funded. However, how many are ready and willing for the tax increase to fund such a service? Seems in this online forum there are several that blanch at the thought of such an increase or any increase at all. They are first to say that this area is downtrodden or depressed. Put your money where your mouth is and bring in something better. I believe your hearts and wallets are in the right place.

-- Posted by karenmeister on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 12:26 AM

well for all the people that are complaning next time dont call and see how that works out for you and also the emt only get paid 8 dollars an hour to put up with all your b.s. and they have deal with death ant tradigety all the time so give them some credit

-- Posted by FIREMEDIC on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 12:33 AM

TransCare employees are not allowed to attend council meetings. They are not allowed to speak to anyone about any incident. So, they have a choice to voice their concerns and find another job when they get fired or to just sit on their ass and be able to get paid to support their family.

TransCare has purchased GPS and has a transmitter in all of their vehicles. How do they get lost you say? Because they dont let the ambulances have the GPS mapping systems. only the managers get to see it. Its used solely to watch what the employees are doing. I know their employees would love to get access to it so they know where the hell theyre going. Some people have took it on themself and bought their own GPS units to use when they work, but some people cant afford it. Its hard to learn where the streets are because one day someone might be working on the ambulance here in clay county and tomorrow they work in vigo county. so they're never in the same place to learn things.

-- Posted by bartpeterson24 on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 12:52 AM

FIREMEDIC: your absolutley right about the emt's only getting paid $8 an hour to put up with our b.s. on the other hand any job you find employment at is going to have it! i worked in a healthcare facility for 4yrs & i know about taking b.s. from family members in a state of emergency, but also did't give it back to those who did to me. regardless of what the job entails your supposed to maintain a positive work attitude. on another note, i think i can speak for all of my family when i say next time we won't call. we will take matters into our own hands, lord knows they would have a fighting chance then!

-- Posted by mityd on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 2:21 AM

Firemedic... $8 an hour for a job you chose is your problem... the comment about taking peoples B.S. is just the attitude we are talking about... by the way your spelling needs alot work. When I was in an auto accident last year the Trans Care personnel was nice but the driver had to tell the guy in the back with me that he had put my cervical collar on backwards and had to take it off and show him how to put it on... Scary thought that something so simple was done wrong... $8.00 a hour or even having a job in these times are a blessing and you shouldn't be complaining about that. I agree that we need a better emergency system and a better ambulance service we can trust and count on.

-- Posted by Innocent on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 6:44 AM

The company is the problem. Clay County is not their priority. They don't pay their employees a reasonable wage. They don't hire individuals with a knowledge of Clay County roads, or Brazil streets, and they don't emphasis the need for that knowledge. They rely on dispatchers completely to navigate their units. They complicate the emergency dispatching system by requiring calls to be transferred to their center in Vigo county. They are Clay County's contracted ambulance service for 5 more years. Yet they will violate their contract again and again. They will be slow, they will be underpaid, they will be out of position, they will be understaffed, they will rely on other emergency services to pick up their slack, and several complaints will be made about their service by citizens, patients, others in the medical field ....and in five years they will still be the ambulance service for Clay County.

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 8:45 AM


Complaining about the hourly wage,Cmon?When you accept or train for a job in the Medical field,most people want to do it to save lives or make a difference.If they are in it for the $ to make a paycheck and support their family,there is alot of other high paying occupations out there!With that type of attidude I would not recommend any job that they would be required to provide any service to the public,they clearly have no Customer Service skills!As for BS,every job has it in some form,so grow up and welcome to adult life in the real world!

-- Posted by westsidemom on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 10:41 AM

If members of the family present were in healthcare, why wasn't cpr in progress? How long had the gentleman been complaing about not feeling well? What kind of prior medical history did the gentleman have? Was instruction given over the phone how to preform cpr if the gentleman had no heart beat and wasn't breathing? Did the gentleman have extensive medical history?

These are some questions that really need to be answered before people start bashing family, dispatchers,personal on the scene.

Sign me Wondering

-- Posted by wonderimg on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 2:54 PM


On that date 2/8/10 it was after 11:00 at night,and the family members that are in healthcare(his sisters)were at home in bed with their own families when 911 was called.Question #2=It was sudden discomfort and happened fast as it has beenmentioned in prior comments.Question #3 patient cardiac history was that he had stents put in December 09,and had been followed closely with a heart specialist doctor.Other than that he was a diabetic,that still does not excuse any of the issues at hand.Question #4=(I am so glad you asked)No CPR instructions were given via phone,nor was it offered.(see above comments above on listening to 911 calls)Transcare was releasing the calls stated they had an ambulance on the way!Kinda hard to do if they didn't stay on phone very long huh?

-- Posted by westsidemom on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 4:42 PM

I was told today that the Brazil Fire Department refuses to assist the ambulance company in aiding and assisting medical runs. Does anyone have any information or facts on this matter?s If I am reading the posts correctly, it appears that a female employee of Trans-Care said "Oh great" when she realized they had to lift an obese man up from the floor. According to talk around town, this man weighed aprox. 400 pounds and we expect a female to lift half of this man up from the floor. She should not have huffed "Oh Great" but I am sure we would have all been thinking the same thing if we were asked to manage that task. I hate to think that my tax dollars are going to support the Brazil Fire Department to provide services and they refuse to assist when called out. The anger should be directed at the Brazil Fire Department equally as much as Trans-Care if BFD has a policy about not assisting ambulance crews in situations like this.

-- Posted by Lafin on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 5:06 PM

LAFIN: it doesn't matter how "obese" a patient is, when you take a job in the medical field lifting is required to an extent! no one is saying she had to lift half of this man on her own, thats why they were instructed to bring an extra person or extra people in general (with the assistance of a few family member that were present). its doesn't make any difference what the woman thought when she was informed about the gentleman, just because you think something doen't mean you voice it to the person calling in for help!!!

-- Posted by mityd on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 8:55 PM

The man was not 400 pounds He was under 300 pounds

I know this because im his wife and i was there every time he got on the scales

-- Posted by the wife on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 9:11 PM


I dont know how long you have been married or if you even are but you cant honestly tell me you would be able to give CPR to your spouse because you would be in a panic. Or maybe you are just heartless.

As to the patients weight that is not even an issue the paramedics should show a little respect and do their job correctly. Have they forgotten who pays them US THE TAXPAYERS.

And why cant they ever find the address when called out, well go set at the hospital and watch when they are in there just playing around. That would be a good time for them to go drive the streets and learn them.

-- Posted by minnie on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 9:21 PM


There's not much i can say that my family members haven't already said in previous posts...but i will say this..

"talk around town"..now that is total BS!!! the only people that would have been shallow enough to talk about his weight would be the emts! furthermore, that would mean a breach in patient confidentiality, correct? be careful by what you say cause as far as i'm concerned, you just ratted them out! and he was not 400 lbs as his wife has stated. don't comment on something in which you have no clue about. his family was standing by ready and willing to help in any way possible. IF we were ready & willing to help knowing the situation & having all of those emotions going on at the same time, then by God those emts SHOULD HAVE BEEN TOO!!!

-- Posted by ashley_marie_frye on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 10:36 PM

ok. since everyone is putting in their two cents, i have something to say. i was at the scene of this terrible event and i made one of the 911 calls. the dispatcher was told over the phone and the paramedics were told when they arrived of my fathers condition. they still moved very slowly and seemed dismissive of the gravity of the situation. and when the woman made a comment as to my fathers weight, i was outraged. i know what they should have done and what basic protocols are for paramedics responding to a possible heart attack. they did not follow any of them and as a result of their negligence and lack of training or respect, i lost my father. if anyone else has anything rude to say about what happened, please dont. our family has been through enough and do not need or deserve to be disrespected any further.

-- Posted by natasha lyn on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 10:39 PM


BFD has no personnel that are medically trained. Clay County Search and Rescue handle all medical calls inside the city limits where Trans Care requires assistance.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Thu, Apr 8, 2010, at 11:58 PM

also how can they use not knowing the streets an excuse? The woman that I always see working has been with here for years because she's the one who showed up for my Grandma years ago. I think she should know the streets by now! There's a guy that's been with them a long time to, plus Brazil is not a big town people! I think the point is if the majority of the people have a problem with them they need to go!!

-- Posted by SKCC on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 8:13 AM

Thought I was respectful. Thought My questions were reasonable. Woindering is wondering why his post got deleted?

-- Posted by wonderimg on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 8:44 AM

Dear Ashley Marie,

Your family has created the talk around town by complaining and trying to make this a county wide issue. This is not a county wide issue...this is your issue. I would presume the ambulance company performs several hundred runs a year. They saved my father's life and I can name two people who appreciate the medical care Trans-Care gives for every person like you who complains. I am sorry for your loss, but ten minutes sounds very reasonable for an ambulance to be dispatched at 11:00 at night, crew getting dressed and ready, start the truck, pull out of the garage, and find your home. If you want to know what people are saying about your family, then go to Hardees and listen...by the way, customers at Hardees talking about your family doesn't violate HIPPA laws....correct? It is very apparant from these discussions that the poison in town about Trans-Care is from a small vocal minority of former Athens cry babies. At least half of the Brazil Crew is former Athens employees. Nobody has heard from Trans-Care yet nor would I respond to anyone but the commissoners. I stand by my previous statements....BFD or some other agency should have assisted lift this large man.

-- Posted by Lafin on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 9:02 AM

Its no secrete that whenever an emergency situation comes about emotions run high for both the family members involved and the emergency personnel responding to the situation, so therefore things can appear to be something other than what they actually are. Such as minutes can seem like hours and hours like days to those whos loved one is in danger. I am not saying this is what happened but as far as Transcare employees being rude maybe that wasn't the case at all but maybe they are just focused on helping their patient and they don't think about who or what is going on around them. These Transcare people have a protocol to follow and in doing so at times there are going to be people who think they should of done things differently then what they did especially when its their loved one in danger.

You know even if Transcare would of been on scene in a matter of two minutes would it of made a difference? Transcare employees are people not miracle workers and if you are looking for someone to blame maybe you should look a little higher to the sky because regardless of who responds to help when its your time NOBODY can save you.

-- Posted by TLLBK03 on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 10:19 AM


10 minutes is reasonable but when they arrive and basically proceed to stand there with their thumbs up their rears is NOT! secondly for any further talk you or anyone else wants to do around town just goes to show us how boring your lives are. speaking ill of the dead is highly disrespectful and proves you do not have a heart or dignity. and crybabies?? you serious? anybody that does not get upset about nobody taking the proper steps to help your family in the state of an emergency is heartless! sounds to me like we need evaluations on damn near ALL emergency staff! i'm sure the people of this town don't appreciate how people like you act! also, it's not only our family that are speaking out against the service :) and we're not sorry that it upsets you so.

-- Posted by ashley_marie_frye on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 10:31 AM

LAFIN: the majority of this town talk about people, so WHOA BIG SURPRISE THERE! as far as us being "crybabies" then i guess the majority of the town is & people posting on the board. it isn't only this family "complaining" about this service. as you can see from earlier posts. some of the citizens of this town look at this situation & think that our family is just upset & say things out of character because we're merley making our statements to which we believe would better our town. apparently more citizens than just our family feel the same way (as i've stated previously read other posts).regardless whether or not our emotions we're running high we remember plain as day what was said when the emt's came into our familys homes. i can agree with you on one aspect, when its your time to go NOBODY can save you. if your thinking maybe it was his time to go, then think about this nobody's going to know when it's their time. as for your asking if the ambulance service got there in 2 min would he have survived? well we'll

-- Posted by mityd on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 10:54 AM

*Well we'll never know will we?

-- Posted by mityd on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 10:56 AM


My issue with you and your family is that you are trying to make a private issue a public concern and give the misimpression that Trans-Care are idiots. You want people to show you respect, then keep your comments off the board because most pepole don't feel as you do. They saved my fathers life and I will not let you shoot your mouth off in generalities without responding. There are a lot more people like me who have had quality care...we just don't speak up as much. I doubt "not being rude" is part of any contract the county has...if you want someone to be nice to you when you are in need of medical care, then go to WalMart's customer service. If you want somebody to provide medical care to your family member, then get out of the way and let the medics do their job. I am not a medical professional, nor are most the people commenting, but I would guess it is very difficult to do your job when family members are standing over the top of you. You and your family chose to air your dirty laundry in the paper and we as citizens only have one side of the story. Trans-Care may not be able to respond to the specifics of your case but I can respond about the quality of care I have received from Trans-Care.

-- Posted by Lafin on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 11:03 AM

I'm very sorry for the loss this family has experienced. However,I'm quite sur e this is not the first time something like this has happened, nor will it be the last. Whether it be Trans Care, Athens, or any other ambulance service, this kind of thing is bound to happen once in a while. I'm also quite sure that for every "horrorstory" such as this one, their are many more untold stories of emergency personnel who have saved countless lives over the years. It's very common to hear about the bad stories and not the happy endings. That's just human nature. The family did the right thing in taking this issue to the County Commissioners and the County Council. I'm quite sure the Commissioners will pass the information on to Trans Care and maybe it will have a positive impact on future performance by their personnel, let's hope so.

-- Posted by open minded on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 12:16 PM


That is right all you can say is about the care YOU received no anyone else. As far as talk around town well, I would consider the one's "talking" before shooting my mouth off. If you have been reading this family is not the only ones that have complaints about Trans-Care. Get a life and the facts before posting a comment like yours.

-- Posted by IndyBklyn99 on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 12:25 PM

Totally agree with mityd and IndyBklyn99 Lafin there are medics posting on here a couple of them have it in their name and as far as a crybabies everybody on here is just telling their opinion of trans care and what they have experienced with them. I'm sure if the newspaper thought the family was just being crybabies then they wouldn't have done the story. I was also wondering why they deleted my post before my last one? So much for freedom of speech but lafin's sittin here calling people crybabies because they are concerned about the emergency medical care around here......

-- Posted by SKCC on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 1:10 PM

Open Minded....you are absolutely correct...and that is my point. Do not generalize the quality of medical care that any ambulance service provides based on your one experience because there are many satisfied people who do not get on here and complain. My experience is quite different. As far as cry babies, that is in reference to those who are asking Clay County to take a step backwards from paramedic care to basic service when screaming for Athens. Many of Clay County's ambulance service employees are former Athens employees and those former Athens employees in a Trans-Care truck have saved many Clay County lives.

-- Posted by Lafin on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 1:54 PM

Lafin: Dang! They are ganging up on you now. I feel bad for the family but do agree that sometimes personal issues need to remain just that . . .personal issues. Since someone mentioned when it's your time to go . . . biblically, I beleive the family should address the problems with the parties involved . . .not by holding a news conference on-line. I, like this family, lost my father before the ambulance crew could save him. It is an awful tragedy but there is really no point in blaming the medics. It just happened that way. My condolences to the family. May you find peace with the entire situation regarding the loss of your father.

-- Posted by whynotlook on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 2:20 PM

I to feel bad for the family who lost their loved one, but come on what is the point in involving the whole town in their personal bussiness. I know for a fact that Transcare has saved more lives then they have lost and loosing someone doesn't make it easy on the EMTs invovled. It appears that if anyone on here says anything that isn't in agreement with this family then they are instantly wrong, and are gang up on which is just a bit crazy. Not everyone thinks Transcare is a bad deal !!!

-- Posted by TLLBK03 on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 3:51 PM


-- Posted by mityd on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 4:34 PM

I am personal friends with many of the members of the family involved in this in this situation. I have a great deal of sympathy for the pain they are suffering for the loss of their loved one.

As one of two former Clay County Commissioners who made the decision to move forward with paramedic servic , I would like to simply add my opinion.

I believe the decision to move the ambulance service contract from Athens to Trans-Care was the right decision then and I believe it is the right decision today. The vast majority of the citizens in our county do not understand that all ambulances are not medically equal. Paramedic ambulances are like bringing the hospital emergency room to the scene. Basic Life support is like trying to comfort a patient in the back of a station wagon with an aspirin.

I have read each of the post and believe that most of the post can be divided into two buckets:

1 - Emotional Outrage

2 - Isolated Experience

Emotional outrage is easy to understand. The family is upset that the patient outcome was not as everyone would have hoped.

The second bucket is more difficult to summarize. These posts are about a limited number of good or bad experiences.

As a former commissioner, I can tell you that your public officials would like to provide an ambulance on every street corner. You can not put a price on a life, but the economics in a small, rural county can not fiscally support such an endeavor. The run volume can not support the level of ambulance service we expect and demand as citizens without the subsidy. We paid Athens a subsidy of 153k plus the purchase of a new ambulance every two years for basic life support services. The fiscal reality for your elected officials is that Trans-Care with paramedic service at 185k a year including ambulances is a better medical value than a non-paramedic service at a $153k plus spending $75,000 on a new ambulance every two years.

As county commissioner, we explored the possibility of owning and operating our own ambulance service. After speaking with several counties, such as Owen County, our neighbor to the east, it was very clear that the cost of operating a county owned paramedic ambulance service in Clay County would easily raised the cost to over $500,000.

There is no excuse for any ambulance personelle to be "rude" to any of our citizens. To those of you not involved in this particular situation, I would simply ask one question....were the medics so focused on the job at hand that they did not do a good enough job of comforting the families in a time of need. I know that sometime what your doctor says makes you feel better than what the doctor does.

I have seen paramedics and drivers cry when they lost a patient. These individuals do this because they want to save lives; not for the money. The faces of Trans-Care are our neighbors, friends, and family. Most of the Trans-Care's Clay County crews include people who live and are raising their families in Clay County. As one person said, employees of Trans-Care are not miracle workers. But we have come to expect miracles from Trans-Care because of all the lives they have saved in the ambulance enroute via a trache or through the use of medicines that Athens could not administer. When the patient outcome is not what we hope for, then we naturally ask, "Why didn't Trans-Care perform another miracle for my loved one." I am sure the crew that night wishes they could have.

-- Posted by Daryl Andrews on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 5:22 PM

ok I have to say that this isnt just about the loss of a life or this family putting this public. But this is about the rudeness and transcares inability to find the addresses when sent out on a call. The family wants absolutely nothing from transcare but for them to change some ways they do some things.

There were even complaints about transcare at the concil meeting that came from concil members themselves.

And as far as making this public someone needs to step up and let people know exactly what the professionals are doing. Yes I agree not all calls for transcare calls are bad but really just how many are.

Lets just change this story for a minute if you went to (lets say a food establishment) you were treated rudely or your food was not fit to eat would you complain? YES you would.

Bad customer service is just that bad customer service. So dont bash this family for having the balls to stand up and speak.

-- Posted by minnie on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 5:23 PM


Can you or another family member define rude for idiots like me. Mityd explained in an earlier post that the crew came in, and I presume in an effort to comfort the family, said everything is ok and he will be fine....other than trying to predict the future to make the family feel better, can someone share with us other examples of rude behavior the crew participated in?

-- Posted by Lafin on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 6:41 PM

would everyone just stop fighting and understand what we were trying to do by going to the meeting. we were not making private matters public or airing our dirty laundry as people have said. we were just trying to inform the council of the problems we had and wanted to address them so they wouldn't happen in the future to other families. i'm not saying transcare is totally bad, they just were in this instance and have some things to work on. we were not trying to put our story in the paper for the whole town to see. we just wanted to talk to council members who could hopefully make a change on some things. so can you please quit making disrespectful or rude comments to my family. or trying to act all-knowing when you were not at the scene and do not know all the facts of what happened that night.

-- Posted by natasha lyn on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 7:58 PM

The rudeness had nothing to do with the family needing comfort or anything like that. The paramedics were told they would need lifting assistance and the female threw her hands in the air and said "OH thats just great!" That was not right by no means.

-- Posted by minnie on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 9:10 PM

A complaint was made, now it's up to the Clay County Commissioners and Clay County Council to determine if it's legit and what they intend to do about it. The fire dept. provides ambulance service in a lot of cities with certified EMT's and Paramedics. Then they charge a user fee which helps pay for the service. Insurance picks up the cost. For those without insurance, the cost is reduced or waived.

There is a very simple solution for someone who doesn't know the streets in Brazil. It's called a MAP.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Fri, Apr 9, 2010, at 10:25 PM

Transcare would not transport me once because I had a bill.

-- Posted by lilmomma on Sat, Apr 10, 2010, at 8:59 AM


-- Posted by hkablade9 on Sat, Apr 10, 2010, at 9:20 AM

I have looked over most of the comments on this thread, but not all, so I apologize if I am simply repeating previously-posted comments.

First off, anyone who was not on that scene cannot make a comment regarding the family's actions or the crew's actions during this situation. Any family going through an emergency situation is going to have a heightened emotional state. Minutes seem like hours. A great example of this is when someone is having a seizure that lasts only 30-45 seconds but family members report it being several minutes in duration because of the heightened level of stress that comes with seeing their family member thrashing about.

I have nothing but heartfelt sympathy for the family involved for losing their loved one.

The comments made online and in the initial newspaper story indicate the ambulance crew did not bring in medical equipment from their truck. Unless I have missed it in the postings, article, etc. -- were first responders on scene? Usually this is the case as township fire departments will make it to the scene of an emergency first. Fire departments in Clay County have only been utilizing the medical first responder services for the past few years, but this service is designed to get help to the families quickly. Usually, if emergency personnel are already on scene when the EMS unit arrives, the needed equipment to stabilize that patient until they are in the ambulance should already be at the patient's side. So perhaps this is why they did not carry equipment in. Otherwise, if there were no rescue units already on scene, then yes, the crew should have brought necessary equipment inside -- absolutely.

This brings us to the question about Brazil City Fire. No, they do not respond on medical runs. This is because they are not certified by the state to function as an EMS non-transport provider. The volunteer organization known as Search and Rescue responds on medical runs inside the city limits -- however this is of course only if a volunteer is available to respond (as with all volunteer departments). Would it be beneficial to get BFD certified at least at the First Responder level or even better Basic Life Support non-transport provider level -- yes. Why? They are in-house 24/7/365 and can get to a patient in a short amount of time and provide stabilizing care should the ambulance be delayed.

Next is the subject of the crew's behavior. "Oh great", if spoken, should not have been said in relation to the subject of having to move the patient. Apparently there was a malfunction in the crew member's brain/mouth filter at that moment. Several other postings have indicated that TransCare crew members have been "rude" and "unprofessional" at scenes. Some specific examples were given in some posts while in others there was not. Please keep in mind that these EMS professionals have dealt with emergencies everyday -- in some cases for several years. Their lack of "excitement" in a situation does not mean that they do not care, but however are accustomed to these situations. If rescue personnel become hysterical on a scene, then that will only make the situation that much worse as everyone else will feed off of them.

A major misconception over EMS personnel worldwide is that they are simply "ambulance drivers". They are trained medical professionals -- as it has been noted. There is a code of ethics that must be followed and a moral responsibility as well. EMS providers are unlike any other kind of medical professional in the world, and handle emergency situations with a calmness like none other. However, they do make mistakes. Saying that it is because they are human can be seen as simply a scapegoat, but it is true. Humans make mistakes. Doctors, lawyers, police officers, firefighters, cashiers, waitresses, teachers -- no one has a spot free career record. The important thing is to learn from those mistakes and to not let them happen again.

It is also important to remember that EMS providers have a very short amount of time to obtain a lot of information, perform a complete patient assessment, and provide appropriate treatment. Although they may seem dismissive and rude at times, it is most often not the intent. They are usually focused on finding out what the problem is, obtaining a history -- and concurrently are generally already planning a treatment regimen in their head. As said in a previous post, Paramedic ambulances are capable of stabilizing patients suffering from almost every conceivable medical and traumatic emergency. If it was possible, every town in the world should be covered by these Advanced Life Support practitioners.

It is unfair to group a number of individuals into the same category as being rude, unprofessional, incompetent, or what have you. To say TransCare is bad is not a truthful statement. Perhaps some of their personnel need more training, experience, or lessons in bedside manners (several doctors are great doctors but have a horrible bedside manner). Perhaps better communication should be established between dispatch centers and protocols be revised. But to just say an entity is bad would mean that we should also say that Clay County Sheriff's Department, Terre Haute Fire Department, Care Ambulance Service, and various fire departments are all in the same category -- because I bet every one of those organizations have had some kind of complaint against them at some point or another. However, it is important to remember, that every organization has dedicated employees that are there to serve the citizens they are entrusted to protect and treat. That work countless hours in terrible conditions for meager pay, and that sacrifice several things in their own lives to help a stranger in need at any time of day, rain or shine.

I don't condone anything that was done in this situation -- I wasn't there and don't know anything about it. What I am saying is that no one should blame an entire organization and everyone in it for the acts or missteps of certain specific individuals. TransCare should recognize these problem areas and individuals and take the appropriate steps to correct them.

-- Posted by hkablade9 on Sat, Apr 10, 2010, at 12:00 PM


I agree with just about everything you said. My issue to earlier statements made to and about this family are this: It is obvious that this family took its initial concerns with this particular situation to Transcare, otherwise how would they have received all the 911 transcripts? They then went before the county council to make them aware of the sitation, where the Brazil Times always has a reporter. They have stated numerous times that they were not seeking any type of lawsuit, restitution, etc. they just wanted them aware the "problem". For this they have been slandered, ridiculed and worse of all hurt. They didnt ask the paper to be there, they didnt ask to have this put into public forum, they just were doing what they were advised to do.

Now obviously no one is flawless and we all make mistakes, but we also have to suffer the consequences of our mistakes or learn from them. Therefore, this family had every right and responsiblity to present this to the council and let them determine if anything should be done. But, they should in no way have to suffer more abuse and/or heartache from heartless people that think coming on a public forum and blasting them is a good thing to do. Maybe if Transcare had handled it a little different when they first approached them none of this would have even made it before the council or in the paper. I think this family just wanted some type of apology or responsibilty for some of their employees actions.

I dont know this family, but if I did I would advise them to put all their energy into being strong for each other and helping each other through this difficult time. My sympathies too all of you. God Bless

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Sat, Apr 10, 2010, at 8:42 PM

Dear lifehasitmoments,

Somebody gave them bad advice about going to a public meeting. They should have saved their time and energy and not gone to the council meeting since the council has absolutely zero to do with ambulance services...that is the county commissioner's responsibility. What did the family think was going to happen when they appeared at a public meeting of the County Council? Their time would have been better spent meeting with each commissioner privately.

-- Posted by Lafin on Sat, Apr 10, 2010, at 9:18 PM

You have to be kidding me? Go to each one privately? How many people even know every commissioner/council person by name or how to contact them? Even if they did the commissiner/council person would have to bring it before the council/commission as a whole to discuss the matter and again it would become public information.

I guess I was remiss in saying they went to the county council. When I went back and reread this report it states they approached both the county commissioners AND the county council. Guess they wanted to make sure they got the right one.

Lafin, I am glad that you have had positive experience with Transcare, but not everyone has. If there is a complaint in any type of job you complain to the boss; in this case the county commissioners. I guess what you are saying is that because someone preforms their duties 98% of the time then no one should react if they screw up the other 2%. If a police officer made an error in judgement, (which has happened before) and you went to the chief, sheriff, etc and did not get and vindication would you just keep your mouth shut or would you keep reporting until you found some resolution to your concerns?

This is a public forum and they are public employees (for the most part) This family had every right to reply in response to anyones post on here, just like you had some sick need to try and ridicule them. In closing all I can say is this: If you are getting most of your information from the the high society group that hangs out at Hardee's then maybe you should seek a higher class friends. Please leave this family alone and this will be over.

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Sun, Apr 11, 2010, at 12:17 AM


You appaerently have no idea how the whole thing works we started first with Transcare,then approached the commissioners and were told we needed to make an appointment to discuss the issue with the whole commissioner council,which we did.As we were told about the County Council (which sets aside $ to pay Transcare)that we too needed to make an appt. and address them as well (commissioners directed us to speak to them).So u see you cannot discuss matters privately you have to make an appt with the entire group.As previous posts have said several complaints were discussed from council memebers theirselves (Rita Rothrock and Alumbaugh)so it is not just the family that has issues.As far as this turning into a B**** session,don't comment nonone made u,this is a public discussion forum for the public to comment.

-- Posted by westsidemom on Sun, Apr 11, 2010, at 9:49 AM


Contrary to what someone told your family,you can meet privately with each commissioner. You can not meet with two or more commissioners or four or more members of the council without being in a public meeting. People meet privately with them every day about issues and concerns that they don't want in the paper. I am sorry someone misinformed you about having to go to the council or commissioner's meeting. If it was someone in the court house that told you this then they need some retraining. As far as the council goes, they only allocate money for an ambulance service as required by law. The commissioners choose at their discretion which service. As I said previously, I am not a medical professional but have spent many years in the legal profession. Much of what I have said is my opinion. But what is law is you can meet your elected officials privately without suffering public scrutiny

-- Posted by Lafin on Sun, Apr 11, 2010, at 10:52 AM