EMS needs transparency | Letter

I thought your article about the state investigation of complaints against the EMS chief (along with the one in the San Juan Islander) did an excellent job of bringing this issue to public attention, but I’d like to offer a small correction. I did not bring the matter to the attention of the hospital district commissioners.

At the commissioners’ December meeting, they heard the EMS chief say, almost as an aside, that he had received two letters from the state Department of Health informing him of investigations they had initiated. He said he had notified the commissioners. I heard it at the same time the commissioners did.

Commissioner Lindstrom immediately said she’d received no such notification and Commissioner Appleton indicated the same. In the ensuing discussion, we learned that the chief had not notified the full commission but only commissioners Edwards and Smith and that Edwards, as chair, had decided the other commissioners didn’t need to know about the notices of formal investigations.

It was after that meeting that I filed a public records request and obtained copies of both letters.

This shoddy behavior is not new. This is part of an ongoing pattern. We are saddled with three commissioners – Edwards, Smith and Schwinge – and an EMS chief who, in my opinion, cannot even spell transparency and accountability, much less practice it.

Richard Grout

San Juan Island