Carroll Hospital Center officials say it still provides EMS supplies for free

Carroll Hospital Center officials have refuted the statements of an emergency services official who said the hospital had ended a practice of replenishing volunteer fire company ambulance medical supplies for free after they drop patients at the emergency department.

"Carroll Hospital has, and will continue to, support the replenishment of medical supplies when EMS brings patients to our hospital," said spokeswoman Selena Brewer. "When a patient is brought to our emergency department, ambulance crews may restock supplies that were used on that patient."


Any other supplies used by the ambulance crew for services not related to patients brought to Carroll Hospital Center are the responsibility of the ambulance and the operating organization or fire company, according to Brewer.

The hospital was responding to April 2 testimony before the Carroll County Board of Commissioners by Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association Administrative Assistant Neal Roop, in which he requested a $1 million budget increase in fiscal year 2016 in response to what he believed was a change in Carroll Hospital Center policy.

At that time, Roop said the county's 14 volunteer fire companies would need about $417,000 just to offset the costs of the additional medical supplies they would need to purchase.

Brewer, however, said there was no policy change, and Carroll Hospital Center President Leslie Simmons reiterated her support for CCVESA in a statement to the Times.

"We remain committed to supporting our local fire companies and being a good partner to CCVESA," Simmons wrote in an emailed statement. "Providing medical supplies to the ambulance crews is one way that we are able to give back to the fire companies and to the community."

Hospital officials met with representatives of CCVESA during the week of April 6 in response to an April 3 article in the Times about Roop's testimony, according to Brewer.

Roop had no comment when reached concerning this story.

County Commissioner Steve Wantz, R-District 1, said he believed Roop and others might have confused discussions between Carroll Hospital Center and emergency service providers concerning the replenishment of more expensive, less common supplies for a change in basic policy.

"There was some misinformation, and I think that came from the fact that these are basic items only, [oxygen] masks, things like that," Wantz said. "I think there was some kind of agreement at some point, a proposed agreement, to get some of those things that are and above the basics to be exchanged."

Wantz, a past president of CCVESA who is currently involved in the organization by virtue of his being a member of the Pleasant Valley volunteer fire company, said the fact that there had been no policy change at the hospital will have little impact on how the commissioners evaluate the CCVESA budget request.

"That was a small part of their request," he said. "It's a blip on the radar if you will, and it won't affect the way in which we will provide funding."