Complaint lodged against HC EMS

Published 9:13 am Tuesday, February 9, 2010

WINTON – One citizen is upset about the operation of Hertford County Emergency Medical Services.

Cora Hoggard, a resident of Ahoskie, appeared before the Hertford County Commissioners Monday morning to express her concern about the employees and operation of EMS following the recent death of her mother.

Hoggard said she called 9-1-1 because of a health issue with her mother and said it took too long for the ambulance to arrive.

“They said they arrived at 12:09, but that’s not right,” she said. “They didn’t get there until 12:30 or 12:35.”

The call reports, which Hoggard provided as documentation, showed that Hertford County EMS was dispatched at 12 midnight and arrived at the scene at 12:09 a.m. The report further indicates that EMS left the scene with the patient at 12:22 a.m.

Another report, this one from the Ahoskie Police Department, showed that officer M. Kellett arrived at the scene at 12:03 a.m. and departed with EMS as 12:22.

Hoggard also said that she worked in a convenience store and alleged she had seen EMS employees in the facility who would finish eating before they responded to a call.

“I’m not the only one who thinks EMS is not running right,” Hoggard said. “That’s the word going around Hertford County.”

She further stated that she knew she couldn’t bring her mother back, but wanted to make sure the county took corrective action with EMS.

“What about the next person,” she asked. “I stood there and watched my mama die. My mama might have died anyway, but they didn’t try.”

Hoggard said being an EMS worker was a calling and that people who did the job should want to, comparing it to firefighting as a job where people move quickly and risk their lives to help others.

She complained about the leadership of the department and said she believed it was run better when another director was at the helm.

“I have been living here for 13 or 14 years and I appreciate what the county does,” she added. “I do want something done about this.”

Hertford County Commission Chairman Johnnie R. Farmer said the board would investigate the situation.

“First of all, I’m sorry about the loss of your mother,” he said. “Secondly, we will take this into consideration and investigate it and take whatever corrective action we need to take.”

Commissioner Curtis A. Freeman also said he wanted to see the issue investigated and asked for a copy of whatever documentation Hoggard could provide.