OSAGE COUNTY, Mo. – Emergency service agencies in Osage County are at loggerheads, trading barbs on social media in a battle that began last week.
It started when the Osage County Dispatch Center said on Sept. 24 it would no longer follow an agreement with Osage County Ambulance District from 2017.
The agreement which was set in 2017 said the Osage County Dispatch center would call in additional personal automatically for the district when needed, notify an ambulance from the closest base to the medical emergency, and provide patient hospital to hospital transfer calls to the district.
Joshua Krull, the Osage Ambulance District EMS chief said, “These are serious concerns, its not a personal attack on anyone, its a training issue so what do we need to do to make this better.”
The Osage County Emergency Operations Center and 911 Dispatch Center posted a statement Monday claiming the residents of Osage County have been misled “by an ambulance administrator who is concerned about making a profit.”
The statement was apparently issued in response to an Osage Ambulance District statement posted Friday on social media saying the district’s calls will now go through the Gasconade County E-911 Center instead of Osage County dispatchers.
“We identified several calls that were not handled properly by Osage County 911 and raised concerns related to training and inadequate staffing at the center,” Osage County EMS chief Joshua Krull wrote in the statement. Krull wrote that ambulance district officials were “met with resistance” when they brought concerns to the Osage County 911 director and the county commission.
Krull also claims the dispatching center retaliated against the ambulance district for reporting its concerns.
In response, the Osage dispatching center’s statement claims the ambulance district has been making mistakes with its third-party mapping system, leading to ambulance crews having incorrect addresses for calls.
The statement is signed by Osage County 911 director Andi Rice.
The Osage Ambulance Board of Directors emergency met last week and that’s when Krull said he found out that the dispatch wouldn’t be following the agreement that was set in 2017.
“We need training, we need accountability, we need to get away from personal attacks, we look bad when we get bad address data,” Krull said.
Krull said he decided to make the switch to Gasconade County Dispatch because they committed to follow established procedures according to the 2017 guidelines.
According to the American Heart Association, “for every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, the chances of survival decrease by 7 to 10 percent.”
The Osage County 911 center provides dispatching services for four ambulance districts, seven fire departments, two police departments and the sheriff’s office.
In a news release posted Wednesday the ambulance district said its board of directors during an emergency meeting voted unanimously to enter into a dispatching agreement with Gasconade County “until a time when Osage County 911 can adequately meet the needs of the District.”
We talked to the Osage County Commissioner on the phone and he deferred to the Dispatch Center director we spoke with her in person but she said she was unavailable for comment.