Editor’s Note: Just when you thought the corruption and cover-up in Cleveland County was limited to the City of Shelby, The County Commissioners, The School Board, Cleveland Community College, the District Attorney’s Office, the DSS, the Judges and problems in the jail; you get a report like this. The Cleveland County Emergency Medical Services is $.4.8 over budget and under investigation. And, everybody is covering up. Led by County Manager Brian Epley. Who works for the Cleveland County Commissioners.
The following message tells it like it is. Over-spending, employees are afraid for their jobs, injured people are in jeopardy, an investigation is getting ready to start, lawsuits might be filed and you hear nothing from Commissioners Susan Allen, Ronnie Whetstine and Johnny Hutchins except all is well and everybody is doing a good job. I wonder what planet or what reality that they live in.
The message is shown below. We will let you know what happens as soon as we can find out.
Message received Sunday, February 2, 2020.
Ongoing State Investigation of local EMS, County Manager:
I haven’t seen anything publicized yet on the recent happenings within the local Cleveland County Emergency Medical Services, specifically their EMS Director, Ryan Wilmoth, and their local Medical Director, Dr. Ivan Sanchez, that has resulted in a NC Office of Emergency Services investigation at the state level. Is this another County issue that will be swept under the carpet…???
Events leading up to this investigation have been ongoing for months and do include the County Manager, Brian Epley.
There have been several incidents where the patients in the care of Cleveland County EMS (CCEMS) has been brought into question, all because the EMS Director, Ryan Wilmoth, has overstepped his authority and made demands of his employees that go directly against the written treatment protocols set forth by the Medical Director and NCOEMS. The employees are afraid to do what is morally, ethically and medically correct for fear of being terminated by Ryan Wilmoth.
All certified EMS personnel are allowed to function ONLY under the Licensure of Dr. Ivan Sanchez, when it relates to patient care issues and treatment.
An example of one such “directive” from Ryan Wilmoth, was that a trauma patient was not to be taken into Atrium-Cleveland ER, because HE had called for a helicopter to come from Charlotte to pick up the patient on the helipad that sits just outside the ER. Please understand that Ryan Wilmoth was NOT on the scene of this trauma. However, the paramedic in charge of patient care and the paramedic supervisor on the scene of the trauma, and in direct contact with patient care, had evaluated the patient and initiated care and determined that ground transport to Atrium- Cleveland ER was sufficient and warranted. When the ambulance arrived at the ER of our Level I Trauma Center, the paramedic in charge of patient care asked for an ETA of the helicopter and it was going to be an additional 22+ minutes, the paramedic made the decision to take the patient on INTO the ER at Cleveland for continued care , where he had already spoken to the ER doctors via radio from the scene of the trauma and while in route to ER, and given patient reports and updates.
Understand that the decision of this paramedic in charge of patient care and his supervisor, did not come without repercussions. After Ryan Wilmoth arrived at the ER, he pitched a very inappropriate temper tantrum outside the ER under the canopy and made it clear to the employee and the supervisor that they ‘better learn their role’ as he was the new Director. The verbiage and references he used with this supervisor were extremely inappropriate, and it was taken to the HR Director and County Manager, without any action against Ryan Wilmoth.
Another example is a directive from Ryan Wilmoth, that the paramedics are no longer allowed to board a Rescue Squad ambulance to assist with patient care in the event that the patient requires an increased level of care while in route to ER, which happens if a patient’s condition deteriorates while in route to ER.
This resulted in an elderly patient being removed a Rescue Squad ambulance on the side of the road, in the pouring rain, and transferred to the County EMS stretcher for continued treatment. Where the paramedic could have grabbed a couple medical bags and a cardiac monitor and boarded the Rescue Squad ambulance. A similar event occurred on the side of I85 and a patient had to be moved from one ambulance to another. This is blatant NEGLIGENCE on the part of patient care standards, not to mention, the safety risk of everyone involved.
Dr. Sanchez and the physicians from Atrium and the Trauma Center, have called and met with Ryan Wilmoth and County Manger, Brain Epley on several occasions to try to work through this obvious disrespect and disregard for the Medical Director, and poor decisions on the part of patient care, that WILL result in litigation at some point I’m sure. With County EMS already being $4.8 million in the red, how many hits can the citizens/tax payers take?
Effective last week, Dr. Ivan Sanchez, has removed his Medical Licensure coverage for EMS Director, Ryan Wilmoth. Ryan Wilmoth is no longer allowed to function as a paramedic in Cleveland County, nor make any patient care decisions nor directives. This decision involved the NCOEMS in Raleigh and Dr. Tripp Winslow who is in charge at NCOEMS is aware. This resulted in a NCOEMS investigation and involves the Regional OEMS person, Jeff Powell also. There will also be a Peer Review involved.
It is my understanding that the Investigation will begin on Monday/Tuesday of this week, and involves investigation/interviews with County Manager Brian Epley, County EMS Director Ryan Wilmoth, Dr. Ivan Sanchez and other medical personnel.
Hopefully, the County will have some TRANSPARENCY on the results of this State Investigation, seeing as how they failed to inform the citizens of the decisions that affected the well-being of every citizen in Cleveland County who may need 911 care.