Bountiful officials say a county panel and its acting medical director have no right to not allow city emergency medical technicians to receive more training.
Dennis J. Wyman, acting medical director of the Davis Emergency Medical Services Council, came under fire from the Bountiful City Council and the city's fire department chief because Wyman, on the advice of the medical panel, does not want the fire department to expand its EMT program. Wyman has refused to sign a grant application that would fund training and new equipment."They don't have the authority to tell us what to do," said Bountiful Councilman Keith Barton in a meeting Wednesday night. The City Council voted 4-0 to expand the system and will ask the panel to change its mind at a meeting next Thursday.
The fire department wants to buy defibrillator equipment and give EMTs the training to use it through grants totally $8,800 from the state Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Without approval soon, the city will lose the chance to use the money.
While the city may feel it is their right to dictate how the emergency medical system in the city is run, state law says otherwise. The law has given county emergency medical services councils jurisdiction, Wyman said Thursday.
"In my opinion it is a duplicate service," he said, noting that Davis County paramedics already provide the service in Bountiful.
Currently, Bountiful EMTs are authorized only to administer intravenous therapy and drugs and use an emergency trouser system, Wyman said.
Wyman, who is also an emergency room physician at Lakeview Hosptial in Bountiful, said that the Bountiful EMTs operate under the authority of his medical license. He, not the City Council, is ultimately responsible for the medical treatment the EMTs give.
One of the problems in the case is that Wyman originally signed a document approving the program. Since that time, he has rescinded his approval after a Davis Emergency Medical Services Council subcommittee was organized and established policies to govern such training.
Wyman said that he didn't fully understand the nature of the system when he first signed off on it. He said he was approached and told the Bountiful Fire Department was under pressure of a deadline and needed his signature.
Paramedic response times were considered before denying the request for training. They are adequate and meet state guidelines, Wyman said.