Thursday, June 3, 2010

DeKalb Terminates Ambulance Contract With Care Ambulance

The county has decided without public reasoning to end it's ambulance contract with Care Ambulance. This will take effect July 5, 2010.

Whatever the reasoning is, we hope the county has a replacement to take over immediately or the citizens of DeKalb will suffer even more.

Call us cynical, but we believe this is a knee jerk reaction by the commissioners. Odds are, the newly contracted ambulance service will be at a higher price to the taxpayers and probably connected to someone in the hierarchy within the county.

The county is in a position where it has to prove it is not corrupt.

Click here for more.


Anonymous said...

Why doesn't anyone look at the 911 center for fault.

Sometimes we have to get the phone number to the complainant and call ourselves from the unit to get the correct location.

Anonymous said...

How silly. Citizens of Dekalb County, you should be angry with smoke coming from your every hole on your face. Your tax rates are not going to go down.

Anonymous said...

This does not pass the smell test. Perhaps a closer look at any "new" company is warranted. Relatives/friends of "little Vernon" would be a good place to start.

Anonymous said...

Oh I can hear it now. Wanna take bets on not only getting called 'cynical', but haters as well from some idiot who doesn't believe that we have the RIGHT to question every effin thing they DO ???? The truth is, if it weren't for people who have the ability to think objectively, intelligently, and use intuitive reasoning to question all those things that just don't seem right, the gutless pollyannas would allow corruption to flourish right under their noses. The fact is, this story sends up red flags ALL OVER the place. Our officials have a proven track record of making bad decisions, so I'm certainly NOT inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this company is just in the unfortunate position of being the perfect sacrificial lamb, but personally, I'm waiting for ... "the REST of the story".
PS: Anon #2 - I'm so mad, not just my FACE, but every orifice on my BODY is spewing smoke.

Anonymous said...

they were finally getting use to our radio system and the area of dekalb we have to work another so frustrating..we also need to look at why people are calling for ems...i am cold..i dont feel 16 yoa son has a leg hurts....i keep tooth hurts..I mean I could go on and on...people are using fire rescue as their primary care givers..for anoymous one half the time people dont know where they are when the call 911 or change loc mid dispatch

Anonymous said...

To Anon#1 BECAUSE THE 911 CENTER IS NOT AT FAULT! Look at INTERACT and who is behind this mess..(oh wait,they hauled ass..Fritchey..Wisher..) they approved the CAD program we have and it is a piece of crap!! The CAD is too slow for DeKalb..calls get "lost" in the system..they disappear from the screens..about CARE: My personal feeling is when the incident about Adams Stadium came up and CARE took a long time to get there,they jumped on with the fireman saying dispatch didn't "give them enough information",well medic unit hold on while I dispatch you to the call,get in MY car and show YOU where to go...ridiculous.You bit the hand that feed you and now you are 10-8..10-42 for the remainder.. we can only go by what the caller tells us..We can't make them give us an address,we can't make them give us the correct information,stay on the phone,or be truthful as to why they are calling 911. We do our part,we do our best and if ANYONE...repeat...ANYONE think they can do it know what..we got 60 positions just waiting to be filled..come on up!!

Anonymous said...

And what makes you think the replacement service will be more expensive? Did that happened when they forced all of us on Blue Cross to switch over to CIGNA? Wait, what? It did? Nevermind!

Anonymous said...

Now lets just start making stuff up! I heard that the new company was started by a partnership agreement of all the Chiefs in fire and PD and they are going to pocket the money,

Anonymous said...

You know I have never found better dispatchers and radio supervisors than at Dekalb. Its like they are magic and able to pull a rabbit out of thier hat every night and make a screwed up system work. Trust me I have had issues with radio over the years BUT when you look at other agencies and then what our own have you use to get the job done it really is amazing. Do the screw up sometimes...of course. Theyre human. Do they get pissed off and cops who dont know how to use a radio or dont care......of course. I did too and YOU ALL did/do as well. As for the ambulance company that got shat on.....welcome to our world. You most definately ARE the sacrificial lamb. Sombody is getting a kickback or some other perk at your company expense. If they could get rid of us all to shut us up I think they would. But then they would loose thier personal home security teams, and we cant have that now can we. Also, Radio Supervisor HAGAN is probably the best up there in my opinion. Too bad her talents are wasted in DeKalb county. How she makes a totally screwed up system work as well as she does is a total mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

I always find it humorous when people make comments about a Police Officer and a Police Sergeant having approved the CAD in DeKalb. What makes anyone think those two had any type of authority to make such a decision. We are talking about a multi-million dollar purchase with a multi-year maintenance contract.

Here is what really happened with the CAD in DeKalb...
The system RFP was written by Ken Hamilton, then Director of the 911 Center. He had come over from the Information Systems Department when Thomas Brown was still the Director of Public Safety. This was a set up by Vernon Jones. Ken Hamilton came to the County after leaving Bell South. The RFP (Request for Proposal) was basically a copy of the one used by Fulton County some years back. Fulton County uses the same CAD that DeKalb has now.
Prior to a selection being made, there was a committee made up of only DeKalb 911 personnel, headed up by Sandy Pendley (She was a 911 Shift Manager and is a niece to RT Burgess). They shopped around and checked out numerous CAD systems, including the one that several thought DeKalb should buy at the time, Intergraph. The committee chose InterAct Public Safety, the CAD that DeKalb has now. The breaks got put on the decision to move forward by then Deputy Chief, Marinelli after he was appointed to oversee the Ken Hamilton and the 911 Center. No decision for a CAD should be made solely by 911 personnel. Police, Fire and Sheriff personnel are users too.

The RFP then came out from Ken Hamilton's Office. The only say that police personnel got in the RFP was the functionality of the mobile client and NCIC.

Ken Hamilton was also selected to chair the official DeKalb selection committee. The selection committee is a function of the purchasing and procurement system and is put together for all large RFPs and bids. The true selection committee was comprised of Ken Hamilton from 911, Eric Wisherd from Police, a Battalion Chief from Fire, several personnel from the Department of Information Systems and several people from the CEO's Office (Vernon Jones crowd) and several people from unrelated departments that had nothing to do with CAD. There was also a Finance person involved and a Contracts Compliance person involved.

A little DeKalb history for you. Vernon Jones, former Bell South. Ken Hamilton, former Bell South. Joe Stone (Director of County Personnel), former Bell South. There are countless others that are former Bell South in ranking positions in DeKalb Government that were all part of the Vernon Jones regime.

The current Police and Fire HQ, former Bell South office buildings and purchased from Bell South.

InterAct CAD (CAD used by DeKalb), bid to DeKalb by Bell South.

A number of people on the selection committee were either former Bell South personnel or worked for former Bell South personnel.

Do you see a trend here?

Wisherd didnt make the decision.
Fritchey wasnt even involved. He worked on the radio system project.

The decision to go with the Interact CAD was made long before police or fire personnel could get involved. The only thing that could be done after the award of the CAD system was to try to make it work. To this day it doesn’t do what the users want. There is no doubt that there are problems. Alot of the problems stem from trying to make the CAD do things it wasn’t designed to do. DeKalb has tried to make the InterAct CAD something it is not and has suffered greatly as a result. Personally I think the CAD is designed for smaller agencies running on cellular cards with near limitless bandwidth. It’s certainly not designed to operate for an agency the size of DeKalb over radios that are slower than old dial up internet service.

There you have the details. It’s far deeper than any line level officer or supervisor could have accomplished.

For me, this is a story of one more corrupt thing that Vernon Jones rammed down the throats of the men and women out there trying to do the job. No one was going to stop him.

Anonymous said...

Should have canceled the Cymill contract instead

Anonymous said...

Listen. Vernon Jones made sure everything that happened under his puffed out chest looked kosher on the surface, but NOTHING happened - ever - that he didn't WANT to happen. There WAS no such thing as a competitive bid process. It was always about wielding power and influence.

Anonymous said...

As a former employee of CARE, I know first hand the mess we stepped into. I was there from minute one when the contract started and it was a mess. Dispatch giving wrong information, wrong address, wrong info. For WHATEVER reason. I do not know the workings behind the scene in dispatch, but I do know we received wrong information regularly. And, YES they need to look at what type of calls are coming in. Because 75% of what we transported was total CRAP. Homeless and cold, constipated, cut finger and needs bandaid, thinks they have STD, they want paper on file for a lawsuit, bug in goes on and on and on. They said in the news and I heard they same story from someone still employed there about the soccer field call. They are stating that the care crew didn't follow procedure b/c they looked up the correct address on Google. HELLO, we should thank them!! They went back and forth with dispatch to get correct location and after going to not one, but 2 wrong addresses, they decided to take matters into their own hands and google it. GOOD FOR THEM!! It is a shame that they think that cancelling Care will fix their problems because the problems are much more complex than that.

LoFlyer said...

With all the admitted short-comings of the CADS software, if the documentation, the names, addresses, precincts areas and GIS data are not correct. Then even the finest software in the world won't fix the problem. Garbage-in = garbage-out.

DKPD is going to be in a world of hurt when the next person dies due to a tardy response from the county.

I know command used to look at this blog, if they still do then here are a few suggestions to fix the problem.

# one. Fix your documentation. If your guys are being dispatched from the wrong precinct then provide a mechanism to correct the information on a bad dispatch.

# two. Delete the extraneous functions from the CADS system and hire some good software people to fix the basic problems of the system. This will require some real money. Software people with the knowledge and skills to do this do not come cheap. As the county will never pay the salaries required of the position the only way to do this is by contract. The contract must provide for complete documentation for the software and hardware of the system.

# three. If all else fails then replace the CADS software. As we all know this is a big job and will cost even bigger bucks than trying to fix the problem.

If DKPD does not get a handle on this issue, then eventually, probably sooner than later, some citizen is going to die due to a late/mis-directed dispatch.

Correcting the problem now rather than after a citizen dies will result in less unexpected "turn-over" of command staff.

On the other hand, I know how DeKalb government works. Ignore the problem until the sh*t hits the fan, and then dump a ton of money to fix the problem. Been there, done that.

Watch closely where the ambulance contract goes. I think we all know whats happening here.

Bravo-Zulu to the CARE crew responding to the Adams stadium call. They used initiative and common sense to get to the correct address.

Best of luck, mates!

Anonymous said...

If the county was smart, they would go the cheap route and fix the CAD system by repairing it or replacing it. But knowing how things work in this county, a few people will die because of the CAD system, lawsuits will be filed, they will be settled for millions of dollars, and the county will end up having to replace or repair the CAD system.