Louisville Paramedic Blames Lack of Sleep and Suspension on Forced Overtime

Current employees are putting their jobs on the line.


WLKY.com | | Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Multimedia Thumb

Metro EMS Employees Say Mandatory OT Causes Problems

Louisville employees say they can't perform effectively.
more >

Multimedia Thumb

Mandatory OT Exhausts Kentucky Paramedics, EMTs

Employees of Metro EMS say they can't effectively perform their jobs.
more >

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WLKY.com) - Two current employees of Metro EMS told WLKY News they've been so exhausted from mandatory overtime that they can't effectively perform their jobs.

The overtime issue is nothing new for Metro EMS; however, for the first time, current employees are putting their jobs on the line because of the problem.

"I want people in our service not to be tired. I don't want everybody to be mean and nasty and horrible anymore," said Patty Greer, who is on indefinite suspension without pay from Metro EMS.

Greer said she was suspended after she fell asleep at a patient's home Saturday night while entering information into her laptop.

"I had obviously leaned my head to look at the screen and that was it," she said.

According to records obtained by WLKY, in August, Metro EMS had $80,000 in scheduled overtime, but nearly triple that figure in non-scheduled overtime, when paramedics and EMTs on 12-hour shifts are held over at least four more hours.

The non-scheduled overtime of more than $224,000 is more than the previous August.

"We're being forced to work overtime when we're vastly too tired to do that," said paramedic Teresa Johnson.

"Safety issues really come into play at that point, and that's what bothers me the most," said Metro Councilman Kelly Downard.

In 2009, Col. Craig Rodgers told WLKY, "If anybody ever feels tired, too tired to work, we'll let them go, no questions asked."

But paramedic Johnson showed WLKY a written reprimand she received after at the end of a second 16-hour day in June when, she said, she was asked and cleared to leave.

"I was told at that time just because he said that on TV doesn't mean he wasn't going to hand down discipline if you did it," she said.

What does the Teamsters Union, which represents the paramedics and EMTs, think about mandatory overtime complaints?

According to a letter they said the union sent to them on Friday, they were warned about speaking to the media.

"I was surprised," Greer said. "I thought some of it sounded very threatening."

When asked what he thought would solve the issue, Downard said, "New management."

"I wouldn't want somebody 20 hours, 18 hours on duty to come to my house," Greer said.

Copyright 2011 by WLKY.com. ©2011 Hearst Properties Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related Links:

Metro EMS Employees Say Mandatory OT Causes Problems

Mandatory OT Exhausts Kentucky Paramedics, EMTs

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, sleep, safety, overtime

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS



Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee County EMS Shows Off CPR Tool

Lucas 2 in service in Bradley County.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb


Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >

More Product Videos >