EMS Response To Deadly Morrow County Crash Prompts Policy, Personnel Changes

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There are new developments in a story 10 Investigates broke last week.  A Morrow County EMS employee is out of a job over questions about the emergency response to the crash that killed Kenneth and Elizabeth Bush.

Though it's not clear whether their lives could have been saved, the closest first responders didn't respond at all.

The 911 call came in to Morrow County EMS at 8:13 pm on June 30th.  The caller told the operator of three victims.  Two of them, husband and wife Kenneth and Elizabeth Bush, both critically injured.

Four minutes later, EMS 9 and Squad 1 were en route from EMS Headquarters, Squad 2 was en route from Cardington.  An additional call put Squad 4 on the road at 8:21.

Closer than all of them was Squad 3, parked 2.3 miles, or a 3 minute drive, from the scene.

Yet Squad 3 didn't respond.

Last week, EMS officials told 10TV Squad 3 wasn't required to respond because it wasn't dispatched to the call.  But that was because dispatch wasn't aware of Squad 3's location.

This week, an official says policy is being changed to require units to notify dispatch if they are close to an emergency scene.

On Monday, the Morrow County Firefighter and Squadsmen's Association released this statement to 10TV:"After a thorough investigation (we) found just cause to terminate one employee and a second employee has received a written warning."

But the Association will say nothing else, citing its status as a private entity not subject to public records laws.

Morrow County Commissioner Tom Whiston says that's not good enough.  "Even though they're a private entity doing work for us, its public service.  And I think, as you say, the public does have a right to know certain things."

He has requested Association records related to the investigation.

"We'll get the minutes, and we'll provide those to you, and we'll get a better understanding of documentation of what occurred, and hopefully what we can do to correct this in the future so that it doesn't happen again," Whiston explains.

The family of Kenneth and Elizabeth Bush has declined comment.

10TV has not been able to reach either of the Morrow County EMS employees involved.