EMS certifications officer sanctioned

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For falsifying training documents

By Stan Welch

The Williamston EMS squad’s trouble, as reported recently in The Journal, continues to worsen. A Williamston EMS In-Service Training (IST) officer has had certifications revoked by DHEC and been sanctioned for falsifying documents resulting in a hefty fine for the local EMS squad.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) issued an administrative consent order in January, which permanently banned Anson Hawkins, Sr. from serving as an in-service training (IST) officer.

Hawkins has had his certification permanently revoked both by DHEC and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the two certifying authorities. Hawkins was sanctioned for falsifying training documents, providing certification for EMTs and paramedics who did not meet all of the training requirements.

Between the Iva and Williamston units, thirty seven personnel left the IST program, but received full credit for the program. They also received full credit in the NREMT re-certification website. Those credentials are now void.

Both units have had their IST programs suspended for three years, and have been fined $10,000. They will have to pay $1000 of that amount within the coming weeks to meet the six months deadline which was activated by the January consent order. Once their IST programs are reinstated, they will be monitored by DHEC for future compliance.

The problems for the Williamston EMS unit come on the heels of recent disclosures that the unit faces severe financial problems as well. Non-payment of monies withheld for employees’ health insurance, and for retirement programs, as well as serious shortfalls in basic operational costs led the employees to vote former Chief Joe Barr out of office. Leah Davis is serving as the interim chief, and SLED has recently begun an investigation into the squad’s finances.