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OCEMS is drug-free certified

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By John Foster

Oldham County EMS is the first ambulance service in the state to be recognized by the Kentucky League of Cities as a drug-free certified workplace.

To achieve the certification, OCEMS had to implement a variety of training and testing measures, many of which were already in place, Maj. Stuart Crawford said.

“It’s saying to the public that we’re doing everything humanly possible to be drug-free,” Crawford said.

EMTs are randomly tested for a variety of drugs and alcohol as well as if there is suspicion, including when they are involved in an accident that injures someone or damages property.

Employees must blow below a .02 blood-alcohol content.

The demands of the job necessitate clear and quick thinking, Director Ron Wilder said, so there are also rules against working while using antihistamines or other drugs which may hinder EMTs reactions. Those employees are assigned to non-emergency positions until they are off the drugs.

Wilder said safes on ambulances help officials monitor drug dispersal and prevent theft.

Crawford said the organization has never had a single problem with employee drug abuse since its inception.

The certification saves OCEMS $6,000 a year on insurance from KLC. In total, new policies have saved the service more than $50,000 on yearly insurance.

Above, Crawford places a sticker on the door of Oldham County EMS noting it is a certified drug-free workplace by the Kentucky League of Cities.